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Association Européenne des Voies Vertes
European Greenways Association
Asociación Europea de Vías Verdes
The European Greenways Association (EGWA) was created in 1998 in Namur (Belgium) with the aim of encouraging the creation and promotion of greenways in Europe. It brings together nearly 50 different organizations from 14 European countries involved in the development of greenways.
What is a Greenway?
“Communication routes reserved exclusively for non- motorized journeys, developed in an integrated manner which enhances both the environment and quality of life of the surrounding area.These routes should meet satisfactory standards of width, gradient and surface condition to ensure that they are both user-friendly and low risk for users of all abilities. In this respect, canal towpaths and disused railway lines are a highly suitable resource for the development of greenways.” (Lille Declaration, september 2000).
Common characteristics of greenways:
• They are accessible with slopes (either low or zero gradient) to accommodate all types of users, including mobility impaired people;
• They are safe due to their separation from roads;
• They have continuity as suitable solutions are found to overcome obstacles on the route;
• They are developed with respect for the environment and integrated into the landscape.
• The preservation of cultural heritage: former railways, waterways, works of art;
• Sustainable mobility for daily travel (to work, school, shops) and leisure journeys;
• Sustainable tourism, rural development and local employment creation;
• Health through active travel (helping to prevent respiratory and cardiovascular disease, obesity, etc);
• The creation of wide-ranging services for users: cycle maintenance and hire, information, accommodation etc;
• Public participation and environmental awareness.
Since its foundation in 1998, EGWA has...
• Contributed to the preservation of infrastructure such as disused railway corridors, tow paths and historic routes (Roman roads, pilgrims’ paths, etc) with the aim of converting them into traff
• European Greenways Award
Established in 2003, the biennial EuropeanGreenways Award is presented to greenway projects that stand out for their excellence and demonstration of best practice.
• European projects
With the collaboration of many different partners, EGWA has coordinated the Greenways4tour project to promote sustainable tourism through the greenway network. In the framework of the European program Intelligent Energy, EGWA has participated in the Naviki project in order to promote cycling on greenways. With its participation in the Greenways Product project, EGWA promotes the creation of the European greenways tourism product.
EGWA has launched two European projects in the framework of the INTERREG program: REVER AMNO (Aire Métropolitaine Nord-Ouest, 1999- 2001) and REVER MED (Méditerranée Occidentale, 2002-2004), aimed at the creation of a transnational, traffic-free European Greenways Network (REseau Vert EuRopéen, REVER).
• European Greenways Observatory
An essential resource to discover thousands of kilometers of European traffic-free routes. It includes descriptive information about participating greenways, with maps, photos, videos, news and links to the relevant websites. You can search for routes by country, region or type of user in three languages (English, French and Spanish).
Since 2000, EGWA has organized five European greenways conferences. The first one culminated in the Lille Declaration which sets out the greenway concept. At the last conference (Madrid 2010) the Madrid Declaration was launched, updating EGWA’s mission statement.
• Technical workshops and events
EGWA organizes technical workshops and many other events in collaboration with organizations working in areas such as tourism, heritage and health. The association co-operates with other agencies to promote greenways at congresses and international meetings.
• The European Greenways Day
During European Mobility Week, within the framework of th