Monday, 26 July 2010


The principals of filtered permeability and shared space for transport corridors and thoroughfares are ideas which were pioneered in Groningen and other towns in the Netherlands, Flanders and Germany to encourage walking and cycling by giving them a more attractive environment free from traffic and a time and convenience advantage over car driving.

The Dutch call the shared space concept "woonerf", a term increasingly used in the English-speaking world to mean an area where motorists have priority equal to or lesser than other road-users, thus increasing the livability of the city at the human scale, even as residential density increases.

These measures were pioneered in Groningen in response to severe city-centre congestion which reached a gridlocked crisis point in the 1970's. Until that time the Netherlands - now known as the number one cycling country - actually had fewer regular cyclists than the UK. Amazing.

Here's a woonerf in Bergen-an-Zee in Holland.

Amazingly, we found a woonerf in Aberdeen!
But it's not for the likes of you. It's in Rubislaw Den.

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