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Woonerfs - streets of the cities of the future

26 of February '20

In addition to other boons, woonerfs - streets rarely visited by cars, but besieged by residents - have also arrived in Poland from the Netherlands.

Woonerfs are local zones with speed limits for cars, by design friendly to bicyclists, but most importantly to its residents. The idea originated as early as the 1970s; in Poland, the first street of the future became August 6 Street in Lodz in 2014. The number of woonerfs is also growing in other cities, including the Tri-City.

According to Gerard Schuurman, project director of the Imperial Shipyard in Gdansk, woonerfs are starting to naturally penetrate the urban fabric, there is a clear demand for them.

For me, the most important issue is the sharing of urban space by its various users. The designs of squares or streets make the process of coexistence happen organically. Drivers, as it were, are forced to reduce their speed, which results in greater safety in the area. I would be in favor of the complete exclusion of car traffic in strict city centers, but this is unrealistic, and experience with existing woonerfs has shown that they are an excellent compromise in its positive sense.

Woonerf in Gdynia, Abrahama Street

© Krzysztof Król

The biggest advantage of woonerfs is the flourishing of service establishments within it, as well as the development of friendly neighborhood relations. The residents of Gdynia got their first woonerf in 2019 - it was built on a section of Abrahama Street and immediately changed the lives of its residents. Maciej Nagórski of the NANU studio, Monika Arczynska of the A2P2 Architecture & Planning studio and Bartosz Zimny are responsible for its design. Another promenade has been planned in Gdansk's Oliwa, near the Olivia Business Center, on the planned Nowo Sudecka Street. In addition to the traffic lane, a green belt is to be created, planted with trees and shrubs. There will also be benches, tables and bike racks.

The Tri-City is not stopping there. More woonerfs are planned in the Young City space on the grounds of the Imperial Development and Gdańsk Center Shipyard, which are preparing projects to revitalize former industrial areas.

We aim to create one of the most environmentally friendly neighborhoods in Gdansk in our area, so woonerfs will be quite common here. The main traffic route of our district - the historic Narzędziowców Street - will be perfectly suited for organization in the form of a woonerf. Other roads will diverge from it, also organized on the principle of coexistence of pedestrian, car and bicycle traffic. We feel responsible for the high quality of the space we will create, and we want to set certain standards for the development of urban space with it. Woonerfs are currently the best solutions to be able to create a high-quality, friendly and safe place to live. Especially in places of such importance as the Imperial Shipyard. - Gerard Schruuman adds.

You can read more about Tri-City woonerfs here.


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