These maps show how coronavirus lockdowns emptied our cities – ABC News

Updated

April 05, 2020 07:41:06

Abandoned playgrounds. Empty highways. Bustling streets now all but deserted. City after city has fallen silent as desperate governments implore or compel residents to stay indoors in a bid to stymie the devastating spread of COVID-19. Australian cities are no exception. It began three weeks ago with a recommendation to cancel non-essential outdoor gatherings of over 500 people but has rapidly escalated.

FastGroupCreated with Sketch.Slow

Source: Google Maps
These maps show how peak-hour gridlock has virtually vanished in our four most congested capital city centres as government physical-distancing restrictions have come into effect.They use Google Maps data to compare traffic speeds at 9:00am on Friday, April 3, 2020, with typical traffic at 9:00am on Fridays.

FastGroupCreated with Sketch.Slow

Source: Google Maps

FastGroupCreated with Sketch.Slow

Source: Google Maps

FastGroupCreated with Sketch.Slow

Source: Google Maps
Across Australia, separate Google Maps data reveals public transport hubs and retail and recreation venues (such as restaurants, shopping centres and cinemas) have witnessed the steepest falls in movement.The data, which tracks movement at different types of places, shows movement at bus, train, metro and light rail stations is down by nearly 60 per cent compared to typical levels, while retail and recreation visits have fallen by 45 per cent. Residential is the only category that recorded a rise in movement.

The places we no longer go
Baseline = Median value for the same day of the week, Jan 3-Feb 6, 2020
Retail and recreation
Grocery and pharmacy
Parks
+60%
+30%
0%
-19%
-30%
-35%
-45%
-60%
16 Feb
8 Mar
29 Mar
Transit stations
Workplaces
Residential
+60%
+30%
+13%
0%
-30%
-33%
-58%
-60%
16 Feb
8 Mar
29 Mar

The places we no longer go

Baseline = Median value for the same day of the week, Jan 3-
Feb 6, 2020

Retail and recreation
+60%
+30%
0%
-30%
-45%
-60%
16 Feb
8 Mar
29 Mar
Grocery and pharmacy
+60%
+30%
0%
-19%
-30%
-60%
16 Feb
8 Mar
29 Mar
Parks
+60%
+30%
0%
-30%
-35%
-60%
16 Feb
8 Mar
29 Mar
Transit stations
+60%
+30%
0%
-30%
-58%
-60%
16 Feb
8 Mar
29 Mar
Workplaces
+60%
+30%
0%
-30%
-33%
-60%
16 Feb
8 Mar
29 Mar
Residential
+60%
+30%
+13%
0%
-30%
-60%
16 Feb
8 Mar
29 Mar

Source: Google Community Mobility Report, March 29
Pedestrian counts generated from a network of 65 sensors around the City of Melbourne tell a similar tale.They show the number of pedestrians out and about on Thursday April 2, 2020 had plunged by 87 per cent compared with the average for Thursdays over the past year.

Pedestrian counts in the City of Melbourne
Based on average and actual pedestrian counts across 65 location sensors
170,034
160k
118,180
120k
80k
40k
19,760

2am
4am
6am
8am
10am
12pm
2pm
4pm
6pm
8pm
12am
10pm
Thursdays, past year (avg)
Thursdays, past 4 weeks (avg)
Thursday, April 2, 2020

Pedestrian counts in the City of Melbourne

Based on average and actual
pedestrian counts across 65
location sensors

170,034
160k
118,180
120k
80k
40k
19,760

12am
4am
8am
12pm
4pm
8pm
Thursdays, past year (avg)
Thursdays, past 4 weeks (avg)
Thursdays, April 2, 2020

Source: City of Melbourne
The pattern is the same at specific locations, with the number of pedestrians down by more than 90 per cent at both Southern Cross Station and Princes Bridge, compared with the past year’s average.

Pedestrian traffic, selected locations

Spencer St,
Collins St (North)

Flinders St Station Underpass
Town Hall (West)
Southbank
Melbourne Central, Elizabeth St (East)
4k
2k

12am
6am
12pm
6pm
12am
6am
12pm
6pm
12am
6am
12pm
6pm
12am
6am
12pm
6pm
12am
6am
12pm
6pm
Little Collins St, Swanston St (East)
Melbourne Convention Exhibition Centre
Princes Bridge

4k
2k

12am
6am
12pm
6pm
12am
6am
12pm
6pm
12am
6am
12pm
6pm
12am
6am
12pm
6pm

Pedestrian traffic,
selected locations

Spencer St,
Collins St (North)

Flinders St Station Underpass
4k
2k

12am
6am
12pm
6pm
12am
6am
12pm
6pm
Town Hall (West)
Southbank
4k
2k

12am
6am
12pm
6pm
12am
6am
12pm
6pm
Melbourne Central, Elizabeth St (East)
Little Collins St, Swanston St (East)
4k
2k

12am
6am
12pm
6pm
12am
6am
12pm
6pm
Melbourne Convention Exhibition Centre
Princes Bridge
4k
2k

12am
6am
12pm
6pm
12am
6am
12pm
6pm

4k
2k

12am
6am
12pm
6pm

Source: City of Melbourne
Cities at a standstill … except in AsiaCOVID-19’s swift march through some of the world’s liveliest cities has had an uneven effect, with movement falling far more precipitously in some countries than others.Data from transit app Citymapper shows the percentage of people on the move compared to typical levels for that city.Among the cities with the sharpest declines since the beginning of March are Madrid, Paris and Rome, where nationwide lockdowns were swiftly implemented. In these cities, movement levels have fallen by 95 per cent or more.In Sydney, Melbourne and London, where lockdown measures have been stepped up over days or weeks, the falls in activity have been similarly large but more gradual.

Percentage of city moving compared to typical level
Cities ranked from most to least movement on April 1, 2020. (Typical movement = 100%)
Singapore
Seoul
Hong Kong
Melbourne
100%
51%
50%
37%
33%
15%
0%
2 Mar
16 Mar
30 Mar
Sydney
London
New York
Tokyo
100%
50%
13%
9%
7%
7%
0%
2 Mar
16 Mar
30 Mar
Paris
Rome
Madrid
Milan
100%
50%
5%
5%
4%
3%
0%
2 Mar
16 Mar
30 Mar

Percentage of city moving compared to
typical level

Cities ranked from most to least movement on April 1, 2020. (Typical movement = 100%)
Singapore
Seoul
100%
51%
50%
37%
0%
2 Mar
16 Mar
30 Mar
Hong Kong
Melbourne
100%
50%
33%
15%
0%
2 Mar
16 Mar
30 Mar
Sydney
London
100%
50%
13%
9%
0%
2 Mar
16 Mar
30 Mar
New York
Tokyo
100%
50%
7%
7%
0%
2 Mar
16 Mar
30 Mar
Paris
Rome
100%
50%
5%
5%
0%
2 Mar
16 Mar
30 Mar
Madrid
Milan
100%
50%
4%
3%
0%
2 Mar
16 Mar
30 Mar

Source: Citymapper Mobility Index

By contrast, movement in Seoul and Hong Kong has fallen to roughly one third of typical levels, but that fall has been spread across weeks or, possibly, months. (Citymapper data is only available from March 2, 2020.)These cities have avoided the draconian lockdown measures that sealed off highways, closed down factories, emptied schools and shuttered businesses elsewhere. And yet, remarkably, growth rates in confirmed COVID-19 cases have slowed dramatically.Both have been praised for their swift action, widespread testing, aggressive contact-tracing and enforced quarantines, as well as the co-operation of their citizens, many of whom experienced the horrifying SARS coronavirus outbreak in the early 2000s. The lockdown effectTraffic congestion has all but disappeared in locked-down cities, including those notorious for peak-hour gridlocks that, just a few short weeks ago, stretched across an entire morning or evening.This data from Dutch navigation company TomTom shows how much more or less time a 30-minute vehicle trip took each day in 2020, compared with the average for the same day of the week across 2019.Beyond the dramatic impact of lockdown measures, it illustrates the difference between “soft” approaches that relied on residents voluntarily staying at home and tougher restrictions compelling them to do so.This is especially visible in the charts below, which show how traffic congestion changed hour by hour in the week each city was locked down, compared to 2019.

Sydney
60%
30%
0%
20 Mar
21 Mar
22 Mar
23 Mar
24 Mar
25 Mar
26 Mar
2019 average
2020

Sydney
60%
30%
20 Mar
22 Mar
24 Mar
26 Mar
2019 average
2020

Source: TomTom Traffic Index
For Australians, the first restrictions on movement came on March 13 when Prime Minister Scott Morrison and state and territory leaders announced the suspension of all non-essential gatherings of more than 500 people.The new rule came into effect on Monday, March 16 — the same day the Victorian Government declared a state of emergency. The nation’s coronavirus infection count stood at 376 and the death toll at five.Around the country, offices began instructing staff to work from home and universities emptied as students switched to online classes.

Melbourne
60%
30%
0%
20 Mar
21 Mar
22 Mar
23 Mar
24 Mar
25 Mar
26 Mar
2019 average
2020

Melbourne
60%
30%
20 Mar
22 Mar
24 Mar
26 Mar
2019 average
2020

Source: TomTom Traffic Index
On March 19, non-essential indoor gatherings of more than 100 people were banned. Four days later, another order closed pubs, clubs, gyms, cinemas and places of worship, while restaurants and cafes were restricted to takeaway orders. On March 27, most gatherings were limited to just two people, down from 10.By April 3, Australia’s confirmed case count had surpassed 5,300 and 27 people had died.

Auckland
80%
40%
0%
20 Mar
21 Mar
22 Mar
23 Mar
24 Mar
25 Mar
26 Mar
2019 average
2020

Auckland
80%
40%
20 Mar
22 Mar
24 Mar
26 Mar
2019 average
2020

Source: TomTom Traffic Index
After ratcheting up restrictions on overseas arrivals in late February and early March, the New Zealand Government announced on March 19 the cancellation of all indoor gatherings of more than 100 people.At this stage, New Zealand had 28 confirmed cases and no reported deaths.The next day, authorities in Auckland closed pools, libraries, galleries and other community facilities. The day after that, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern asked citizens to defer all unnecessary travel and work from home where possible. Older New Zealanders were advised not to venture outside.Then, on March 26, the entire nation was placed into lockdown, with all residents required to stay at home except for essential personal movement. At the time, New Zealand had yet to report a death and its cumulative tally of confirmed cases stood at more than 260.By April 3, confirmed cases had risen to more than 770 and one person had died.

London
60%
30%
0%
17 Mar
18 Mar
19 Mar
20 Mar
21 Mar
22 Mar
23 Mar
2019 average
2020

London
60%
30%
17 Mar
19 Mar
21 Mar
23 Mar
2019 average
2020

Source: TomTom Traffic Index
The UK’s first confirmed case of local transmission was reported on February 29.The British Government advised citizens to observe social-distancing protocols, practise good personal hygiene and quarantine themselves if they experienced symptoms of infection.At this point there were only 18 confirmed cases in the UK and no local deaths.On March 16, Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged all citizens to work from home and to avoid pubs and restaurants in a bid to buy the health system time to cope.On March 20, as schools across England shut down, all pubs, restaurants, gyms and other social venues were also closed. By then, the death toll had risen to 144 as the total number of coronavirus cases climbed beyond 3,200.Three days later, Britons were told they should only go outside to shop for essentials, exercise or commute to work, if they would not work from home. By April 3, the UK’s death toll had climbed past 2,900 and confirmed cases stood at more than 33,700.

Paris
80%
40%
0%
13 Mar
14 Mar
15 Mar
16 Mar
17 Mar
18 Mar
19 Mar
2019 average
2020

Paris
80%
40%
13 Mar
15 Mar
17 Mar
19 Mar
2019 average
2020

On March 12, as the coronavirus death toll rose to 48 and confirmed cases to 2,281, French President Emmanuel Macron announced the closure of all schools and universities. In subsequent days, the Government banned gatherings of more than 100 people and ordered the closure of all non-essential public places, including restaurants, cafes, cinemas, and nightclubs.A national lockdown came into effect on March 17. By then the death toll had reached 148 and the number of cases had grown to 6,633.On March 23, additional rules were announced, including orders banning people from leaving their homes for more than one hour once a day, and restricting non-essential journeys to under 1 kilometre.By April 3, France’s death tally stood at more than 4,500 and confirmed cases had surpassed 59,000.

New York
80%
40%
0%
12 Mar
13 Mar
14 Mar
15 Mar
16 Mar
17 Mar
18 Mar
2019 average
2020

New York
80%
40%
12 Mar
14 Mar
16 Mar
18 Mar
2019 average
2020

Source: TomTom Traffic Index
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a state of emergency on March 12 as the number of new cases more than doubled to 95 over 24 hours.The Mayor — who had 10 days earlier urged the city’s 8.4 million residents to “go on with your lives and get out on the town” — banned large gatherings and flagged the prospect of tighter restrictions.The emergency decree gave the city new powers to impose curfews, close public spaces and public transport, and ration the sale of goods.On March 15, the city’s administration took further steps to contain the outbreak, including closing schools and shutting down the remainder of New York City’s nightlife, bars and restaurants. At the time, the confirmed case count stood just below 270.By April 3, less than 3 weeks later, confirmed cases in New York City had surged past 57,000, including more than 1,560 deaths, and the city had become one of the world’s most active coronavirus hotspots.

Madrid
60%
30%
0%
10 Mar
11 Mar
12 Mar
13 Mar
14 Mar
15 Mar
16 Mar
2019 average
2020

Madrid
60%
30%
10 Mar
12 Mar
14 Mar
16 Mar
2019 average
2020

Source: TomTom Traffic Index
The Spanish Government declared a state of emergency on March 14, ordering the closure of all non-essential shops, as well as schools, bars, restaurants, cafes and cinemas. Residents were permitted to leave their homes only to buy food and medicine, or to attend work (if they could not work remotely), medical appointments, banks or caring duties.At the time, the number of confirmed infections stood at more than 6,200, including more than 120 deaths.Since then, Spain has joined Italy and the US in surpassing China’s total number of confirmed infections, while its death toll is second only to Italy.On March 30 the Spanish Government tightened restrictions further, suspending all non-essential economic services for two weeks. By April 3, total infections had climbed past 110,000 and 10,000 people had died.

Dublin
100%
50%
0%
11 Mar
12 Mar
13 Mar
14 Mar
15 Mar
16 Mar
17 Mar
2019 average
2020

Dublin
100%
50%
11 Mar
13 Mar
15 Mar
17 Mar
2019 average
2020

Source: TomTom Traffic Index
Ireland closed schools, universities, museums, galleries, tourist sites, bars and childcare facilities on March 12 as part of a series of restrictions that included a ban on gatherings of more than 100 people indoors and 500 people outdoors. At the time, Ireland had 70 confirmed cases and one death.The Government stepped up restrictions on March 27, banning all gatherings and non-essential trips. Work, shopping for food or supplies, vital family reasons and medical appointments are the only exceptions. People are also allowed out for brief exercise within 2km of their home, as well as for farming or food production.By April 3, Ireland had recorded over 3,800 infections and 98 deaths.

Rome
80%
40%
0%
6 Mar
7 Mar
8 Mar
9 Mar
10 Mar
11 Mar
12 Mar
2019 average
2020

Rome
80%
40%
6 Mar
8 Mar
10 Mar
12 Mar
2019 average
2020

Source: TomTom Traffic Index
Italy’s lockdown is considered the most restrictive outside China. Starting in the north in late February, it was extended nationwide on March 9, with the Italian Government prohibiting movement in public places except for work, basic necessities and health emergencies. The decree also cancelled sporting events and public gatherings, and closed schools, universities, and recreational facilities. At the time, Italy had recorded more than 7,300 confirmed infections, including 366 deaths.Restaurants and bars were closed on March 11. Parks, gardens, and playgrounds followed on March 20. On March 22, non-essential industries were closed.Italy’s count of confirmed cases is now the highest in the world, at over 115,000 on April 3. More than 13,900 have died.

Wuhan
50%
25%
0%
20 Jan
21 Jan
22 Jan
23 Jan
24 Jan
25 Jan
26 Jan
2019 average
2020

Wuhan
50%
25%
20 Jan
22 Jan
24 Jan
26 Jan
2019 average
2020

Source: TomTom Traffic Index
China’s lockdown of more than 50 million people in Wuhan and other cities in Hubei province on January 23 was described as the largest quarantine in modern history. At the time, China had more than 600 confirmed cases, including 17 deaths.Within hours of the announcement, transport into and out of the city was closed, with no exceptions even for personal and medical emergencies. Private vehicles were barred from the roads without special permission and all shops except those selling food or medicine were shuttered. Some areas limited outings to one family member every two days to buy necessities. Others required residents to order in food and other supplies from couriers.At its peak, Wuhan saw more than 67,000 cases and at least 3,100 deaths from the disease. However, the region appears to have reached a turning point. Only one new infection has been recorded in Wuhan in the week to April 1, while mainland China recorded just 36 new infections on April 1, according to Chinese government figures. The government started re-opening roads to incoming traffic at the end of March and officials have said residents would be permitted to leave the city from April 8.Notes about this storyTomTom Traffic Index data for 2020 shows the maximum congestion for that date and hour. Data for 2019 shows the average congestion level across 2019 for that specific day of week and hour. The percentages show how much more time a trip in that city took compared to free-flow conditions. (For example, a value of 53 per cent means a trip at that hour on that day took 53 per cent more time than during free-flow conditions in that city.)Citymapper Mobility Index compares the percentage of people moving in a city to the typical level of movement in that city (baseline movement = 100 per cent)City of Melbourne pedestrian traffic data is based on a network of sensors that operate 24 hours a day to detect pedestrian movement. The data represents the volume of pedestrians in an area.International figures for total confirmed cases and deaths are from Our World in Data, which sources statistics from the European CDC.Data on movement at categorised places is from Google Maps’ COVID-19 Community Mobility Report for Australia, March 29, 2020. The data changes for each day are compared to a median value for that day of the week, during the five weeks from January 3 to February 6, 2020.

Topics:

infectious-diseases-other,

health,

respiratory-diseases,

diseases-and-disorders,

covid-19,

road-transport,

transport

First posted

April 05, 2020 04:48:41

Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: