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What the woonerf?


A woonerf in a city in Poland. Photo courtesy commons.wikimedia.org.


An increasing number of rezoning petition site plans refer to the construction of a woonerf, prompting questions from city leaders as to what exactly that is. A proposed townhome project on Sharon Road and another on West Tremont Avenue both plan to build woonerfs.

According to Wikipedia, a woonerf, (pronounce with a kind of combination v/w sound and go lightly on the r) is “a living street, as originally implemented in the Netherlands and in Flanders.” Woonerfs are designed to slow traffic and encourage the sharing of space between automobiles, bicycles and pedestrians without clear distinctions such as sidewalks and lane markers. They often are constructed of brick and may have seating areas.

Further, the entire area of Emmen, Netherlands, was designed as a woonerf in the 1970s, says Wikipedia.

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