A tradução ao pé da letra seria "quintal vivo", o termo holandês significa: rua preferencial para pedestres e ciclistas. O conceito consiste em projetar uma área urbana com características de via e praça ao mesmo tempo favorecendo a circulação dos pedestres e dificultando a passagem de veículos. A ideia não é impedir a circulação de automóveis mas reduzir a velocidade com instalação de pavimentos que promovam atritos e trajetos sinuosos, além da placa de sinalização. A woonerf, geralmente instalada em áreas residenciais, possui mobiliário urbano e arborização e cria espaços públicos de porte pequeno com características de área de lazer. É importante dizer que a woonerf é legal perante a legislação holandesa onde a preferência é sempre dos pedestres e ciclistas.
Woonerf Design Principles. Following evaluation of the woonerven, the Dutch law was amended (July 1988) to allow greater design flexibility and replaced the design rules with six basic principles.
1. The main function of the woonerf shall be for residential purposes. Thus, roads within the "erf" area may only be geared to traffic terminating or originating from it. The intensity of traffic should not conflict with the character of the woonerf in practical terms: conditions should be optimal for walking, playing, shopping, etc. Motorists are guests. Within woonerven, traffic flows below 100 vehicles per hour should be maintained.
2. To slow traffic, the nature and condition of the roads and road segment must stress the need to drive slowly. Particular speed–reduction features are no longer mandated, so planners can utilize the most effective and appropriate facilities.
3. The entrances and exits of woonerven shall be recognizable as such from their construction. They may be located at an intersection with a major road (preferable) or at least 20 m (60 ft) from such an intersection.
4. The impression shall not be created that the road is divided into a roadway and sidewalk (see figure 20–20). Therefore, there shall be no continuous height differences in the cross–section of a road within a woonerf. Provided this condition is met, a facility for pedestrians may be realized. Thus, space can be designated for pedestrians and a measure of protection offered, for example, by use of bollards or trees.
5. The area of the road surface intended for parking one or more vehicles shall be marked at least at the corners. The marking and the letter "P" shall be clearly distinguishable from the rest of the road surface. In shopping street "erfs" (winkelerven), special loading spaces can be provided, as can short–term parking with time limits.
6. Informational signs may be placed under the international "erf" traffic sign to denote which type of "erf" is present.fonte: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/research/safety/pedbike/05085/chapt20.cfm