International pages




A woonerf is a street primarily meant as a social space, where people can meet,
pedestrians and cyclists can move around freely, and children can play safely.
Cars are allowed, but only under restricting conditions (low speed, non-obtrusive parking,
and limited traffic). When necessary, the streetscape (lay-out of the road and its environment) is adjusted in order to ensure these conditions, and to enhance the quality of life.

Historically streets were used as a social space all over the world, but people were pushed out of the way as a result of the rise of motorized traffic. In order to restore a safe environment the woonerf concept was (re)introduced in the Netherlands in the late 1960’s.

From the Netherlands, the woonerf spread out all over the  world.
Dutch woonerfs have often been shown to visitors from abroad.

According to the Vienna Convention on road traffic (article 27b), drivers should drive at very low speed, as specified by national legislation,  which in no case should exceed 20 km/h. This speed limit  is 10 km/h in Germany and Austria,  in the Netherlands it is defined as ‘walking pace’ (in practice below 15 km per hour), and in Switzerland  as 20 km/h.

During the international Childstreet2005 conference in Delft, professionals and residents from all over the world met to share ideas about child friendly street design.
Some results can be found on the childstreet page.