The Spanish Railways Foundation (SRF) and the European Greenways Association (EGWA) are organizing the V European Greenways Conference, to be held in June of 2010, in Madrid, coinciding with the period of the Spanish presidency of the European Union and the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Lille declaration.
EGWA was created in 1998 with the aim of spreading and promoting greenways in Europe and has developed so far numerous projects, co-financed by the European Commission and national partners. Currently 32 member organisations from 10 countries support EGWA: national, regional and local institutions, greenway managers and promoters, associations and foundations, public railways companies, etc.
The Spanish Railways Foundation (SRF) is a public body which coordinates and promotes the Spanish Greenways Program since 1993, in close collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs (MARM) and the Spanish Railways Infrastructure Managers (ADIF, FEVE). Spain currently has 1,700 km of disused railway lines operating as more than 70 greenways.
The SRF holds, since 2009, the EGWA General Secretariat and hosts the new executive office seat; EGWA social seat is held in Namur (Belgium) from its constitution in 1998.
European countries are increasing their interest in developing infrastructures to promote non-motorized commuting and travel between citizens as a clean and healthy form of leisure sustainable tourism in rural areas and creating jobs. In this context, Greenways play a very important role as they are accessible for every people, continuous, secure and very attractive, thus promoting a change of mentality and attitudes on citizens.
The aim is the exchange of experiences and good practices, between political and technical agents in charge of European Greenways entailed in its planning, maintenance, management and promotion, as well as related civil associations such as as: cyclists, pedestrian, disable people, and companies interested in its use and operation. The event will also focus on proposing recommendations to promote and develop a European greenways policy.
The Conference is oriented to experts, consultants, politicians and technicians involved in the development and promotion of greenways and non motorised itineraries, working in areas such as environment, sustainable mobility and transport, active tourism, universal accessibility, rural development, healthful leisure, regional balance and employment.