Here it comes! Warsaw to get woonerf by end of year
Warsaw will get its first woonerf by the end of the year, developers have said.
A Dutch term that can be translated as ‘living street’, a woonerf is an urban area designed to slow traffic and allow pedestrians greater space within a city, usually incorporating outdoor seating.
Stretching through the capital’s Wola district, the 135-metre-long, six-metre-wide street will see pedestrians and other road users intermingle with the one-way traffic.
Michał Gerwat, Project Director of the Warsaw Brewery, where the woonerf will appear said: “We want the project to become a natural, integral and above all hospitable part of the city.
“We compose the Warsaw Brewery in such a way that it welcomes with its original and sophisticated restaurant concepts and open and encouraging to spend time in the city squares.
“A network of streets and paths will lead to the most important places in the quarter, no gates or barriers.
“On the list of reasons to visit our quarter we can add the woonerf. I am convinced that by developing an internal pedestrian and road route of Haberbusch and Schiele, we create another place where a man and his daily needs stand in the centre.”
The name, Haberbusch and Schiele, is taken from legendary brewers that operated in nearly the exact spot for over a hundred years between 1846 and 1948 when the brewery was nationalised.
Designs for the woonerf show a colourful street with areas being marked off for parking of both cars and bicycles, seating and stalls.
There will be space for art exhibitions that will be free for visitors and with a defining characteristic of woonerfs being greenery such as trees and shrubs, developers Echo Investment has committed to planting 18 trees including some pin oaks, Yosino cherries and common hornbeams.
While this is the first in the capital it is not the first in Poland. Łódź, an old industrial town that has undergone an urban transformation in recent years now has several woonerfs after a test project proved incredibly popular.
Tomasz Andrzejewski, spokesman for the Road and Transport Authority in Łódź, said: “Woonerfs have proven themselves both in the centre and on housing estates .
“In the centre there are new commercial premises appearing on them, the construction of the street translates into new ventures and for the residents of housing estates, they are also happy with the woonerfs, because such streets are calm and green, giving a safe place for children and pedestrians.”
Internationally the concept can be found in Amsterdam , Copenhagen and Berlin with over a million Dutch residents living close to a woonerf.