Social Distancing Simulation of the Christmas Market in Ulm

Which concept is suitable for the Christmas market in Ulm, so that a safe visit with compliance of the minimum distances can work?
Due to the Covid 19 situation, the city of Ulm has created new concepts so that a safe Christmas market is possible by maintaining minimum distances for visitors and exhibitors. In order to visualize the concepts in advance and to build up knowledge about the possibilities for visitor flow regulation - also for future events - accu:rate created a simulation of people flows and distance keeping at the Christmas market.

Client: Stadt Ulm
Task: Social Distancing Simulation
Result: Event concept improved through capacity check


The city of Ulm is home to a traditional and charming Christmas market that attracts many visitors and exhibitors every year. Such an event always poses a challenge - under the current Covid 19 situation, for example, maintaining minimum distances becomes important. The city of Ulm takes its responsibility for all visitors and participants of the Christmas market seriously and uses new ideas and technical possibilities to find a solution in the interest of all parties involved: Instead of a large, central Christmas market at the cathedral, concepts have been developed to distribute the market over several squares, to arrange the stalls and to manage the flow of visitors digitally. Together with the Digital Agenda, which develops innovative ideas and solutions for the citizens of Ulm, accu:rate created a social distancing simulation of the Christmas market in order to analyze and visualize the concepts in advance and to better understand the possibilities for visitor flow control.
"We were keen to enable the Christmas Market under the current Covid 19 situation: for all visitors and stakeholders. Everyone's safety is paramount - that's why we developed new concepts and tested them in advance. Through the simulation, we have gained valuable insights into whether the planned measures are effective and what we can transfer to upcoming events. " (Nina Scheer, Ulm4CleverCity)

Objective of the simulation

With the help of the simulation, we want to show whether the minimum distance can be maintained on site, which conditions promote social distancing, and how the concepts can be improved in this regard.

Our approach

  • Investigation of visitor flows on different sites of the Christmas market with different visitor numbers and influxes.
  • Examination of social distancing on the site and derivation of measures to promote it.


With the help of the simulation, the new challenges posed by the Covid 19 situation could be made more tangible. - The safety of visitors could be better assessed in advance by checking that distances were maintained. - Event designs could be adjusted specifically as factors influencing spacing were identified. - The results of the simulation can also be applied to future events.
Abbildung: Social Distancing auf dem Weihnachtsmarkt – um die Besucher werden die Mindestabstände als grüner Kreis dargestellt, eine Abstandsunterschreitung wird rot markiert.


Image sources:

Title image: Vollverglasung/

Project picture: Vollverglasung/
Figure: Social distancing at the Christmas market - the minimum distances around the visitors are shown as a green circle, a shortfall in distance is marked in red. Image sources: Vollverglasung/