Established in 2003, the European Greenways Awards (EGAs) are presented biennially to encourage best practice in the design of these facilities open to the general public. The European Greenways Association (EGWA) defines greenways as: “Communication routes reserved exclusively for non-motorised journeys. 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.” The greenways are known by different names across the continent: Voies Vertes, Vias Verdes, RAVeL, Ecopistas, Radwege auf alten Bahntrassen, railtrails and so forth.
This year the EGWA was delighted to receive 20 exceptional entries from 10 countries and would like to thank all the candidates for the quality of their work and the useful information they provided. The international jury has honoured projects in two categories: “Excellence” and “Exemplary Initiatives”.
They met in Brussels in June to select three winners for each of the two prize categories. However, given the high quality of the submissions and after careful consideration, the members of the jury chose to award two additional prizes: one "Special Jury Prize" and a second third prize in the category of "Exemplary Initiatives”.
We are pleased to announce that the award winners are:
In the « Excellence » Category:
1st Prize: Green Avenue – Avenue Verte (France) / Département de Seine-Maritime
For the excellent quality of the greenway as a whole and its appeal to tourists, as well as its future plans for international connection. www.seinemaritime.net
2nd Prize: Parco costiero del Ponente Ligure (Italy) / Area 24 SpA
For the integration of an excellent greenway into a very attractive and territorially complex setting on the Mediterranean coast. www.area24spa.it
3rd Prize: Worcester Connect2 Greenway (UK) / Sustrans
For the excellence of its conception, design and technical execution as a greenway, especially its magnificent bridge which enhances the daily mobility of all kinds of users. www.sustrans.org.uk
Special Jury Prize:
Great Southern Trail (GST) (Ireland) / GST Ltd
In recognition of the efforts made for the last 20 years by the volunteer enthusiasts of the GST. Their tireless endeavours have succeeded in converting a disused railway line into a greenway for everyone to enjoy. www.southerntrail.net
In the “Exemplary Initiatives” Category:
1st Prize: Discover the Secrets of Girona Greenways (Spain) / Consorci Víes Verdes de Girona
For an innovative project with major impact on the outreach and promotion of the Girona Greenways as a resource for discovering the cultural and natural value of the region. www.viesverdes.org
2nd Prize: Padiham Greenway Creative Engagement Program (UK) / Mid Pennine Arts
For the use of a greenway and art as a tool for social integration and cohesion in a difficult socio-economic environment. www.midpenninearts.org.uk
3rd Prize: Sentiero della Bonifica (Italy) / Provincia de Arezzo
For the development of a cycling and walking tourist route in Tuscany that allows users to enjoy nature, the art of bygone days, and interaction with the local agricultural community, taking advantage of a historic work of hydraulic engineering. www.sentierodellabonifica.it
3rd Prize: Hotel and restaurant railway wagons on La Jara Greenway (Spain) / Mancomunidad de la Vía Verde de la Jara
For reusing old railway coaches, placing them on the greenway itself to provide facilities for visitors in an isolated and depressed rural area. www.viaverdedelajara.com
Well done to all concerned!
The EGWA organized this 5th round of awards in cooperation with the association Départements & Régions Cyclables (DRC) de France and the Conseil Général des Vosges, with the support of the DG of Enterprise and Industry of the European Commission and Council of Europe / European Landscape Convention, the Ministère de l’Écologie, du Développement Durable, des Transports et du Logement (France) and the Walloon Region (Belgium).