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Greenways definition and goal
Central European Greenways definition
Greenways are multifunctional trails, developed in both urban and rural areas, for non-motorized users typically leading along linear green corridors, historic trade routes, rivers and railways. They are managed by local people in order to encourage sustainable development and healthy lifestyle. Greenways provide a framework for community-based initiatives and projects related to nature conservation, cultural heritage preservation, sustainable tourism and mobility. Greenways seek to address needs of locals and visitors and to provide a positive contribution to the local economy.(Sopron Declaration, Environmental Partnership for Sustainable Development,1st July 2006).
European Greenways definition
Greenways are communication routes reserved exclusively for non-motorised 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. (Lille Declaration, European Greenways Association, 12th September 2000).
All Central European Greenways are implemented according to the following principles
Functions of Greenways
In principle, Greenways - natural and cultural heritage trails have four basic functions:
1. Sustainable transport and safety
Greenways promote non-motorized forms of transport and mass transit, encourage mobility and tourism related to walking, cycling, horse-riding, boating etc. Greenways contribute to increasing road safety and sustainable transport in urban and rural areas for many different user groups, including disabled, elderly and children.
2. Promoting healthy lifestyles
Greenways contribute to promoting healthy life-styles and improving the quality of life of local residents and visitors by encouraging active tourism, recreation and sports in the open air and in natural environments.
3. Development of eco-tourism and natural and cultural heritage conservation
Greenways contribute to the development of different types of environmentally-friendly tourism, including creation and promotion of environmental tourist products. All tourist products promoted along Greenways share the common principle of using local potential and supporting local communities – they are created with local resources: tourist services, cultural opportunities, local products and point of sale, as well as other community initiatives. Greenways serve to support grassroots and regional initiatives aimed at cultural, natural and landscape heritage conservation.
4. Supporting economic and social development of communities, including enterprise development
Greenways contribute to the development of local economies and encourage enterprise among local populations. Establishment of Greenways serves to initiate development of accommodation, food and guiding services. Trails promote establishment of galleries and points of sale for local products, tourism information services, sport and tourism equipment hire services etc.
Basic elements of a Greenway
1. Marking out the backbone trail
Network of GWs in Belarus
|Photos, text: Dominika Zareba, Valeria Klitsounova, Elena Vetrova, Tsimur Kroll | Drawings: Iwona Siwek-Front|
|Project "Greenways for Belarus", implemented by the Polish Environmental Partnership Foundation and the "Agro and Ecotourism" Association, is financed thanks to the support from the Program of Polish Aid of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland in 2006.|