Greenways are transport corridors, developed along independent routes following past or disused communication pathways and tracks that are available for non-motorised soft traffic.
They provide a series of common characteristics:
- Ease of passage: their slopes, either low or zero gradient, allow their use by all types of users, including mobility impaired people.
- Safety, due to their separation from roads, and to appropriate safeguards at the intersections.
- Continuity with suitable solutions for any difficulties and alternative routes.
- Respect for the environment along itineraries and encouraging its respect by the users.
Greenways provide facilities based on the infrastructures and fixtures of the old pathways and tracks, such as disued railway stations and lock keepers' houses. These facilities can take several shapes: general accomodation, museums, bicycle rentals, accomodation for equestrians, hostels... They serve local users as well as tourists.
The greenways should have information available such as maps and brochures, on the route itself and on access to nearby sites of interest is supplied.
- Improve communications and non-motorised itineraries in Europe: hundreds of kilometers running through European countries are available for pedestrians, cyclists, equestrians qnd mobility impaired people.
- Promote healthier and more balanced ways of life and transport reducing the congestion and the pollution of cities.
- Promote rural development, active tourism and local employment.
- Encourage a more human and closer relationship among citizens.
- Bring Europeans closer to both their natural and cultural environment.