The Special European Greenways Award EYR 2021
Disused railway lines form part of the cultural and industrial heritage of the continent. They represent an architectural heritage of inestimable value; impressive masterpieces of engineering, including stations, tunnels and viaducts. Their conversion into greenways allows us to maintain and protect the continent’s cultural and industrial heritage. Also, the conversion of old railway lines into greenways provides a perfect opportunity for the development of sustainable tourism, active mobility and leisure.
In the European Year of Rail 2021, a special category of the 10th edition of the biennially organized European Greenways Award has been created, as a stakeholder’s activity.
The Special Greenways EYR 2021 Award will recompense initiatives that put in value the railway heritage /or tourism products that promote the use of the trains to access to greenways.
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. In this respect, canal towpaths and disused railway lines are a highly suitable resource for the development of greenways.” (Lille Declaration, 12 September 2000).
The Special award will be addresses only to greenways that use disused railways.
The greenways offer a very broad audience access to alternative travel infrastructures; it is specially promoted the use of the trains, including the transport of the bikes, to reach the greenways.
Pioneers of the greenways movement in Europe
In the “European Year of Rail” we publish an interview with Gilbert Perrin, a leading pioneer of the greenways movement in Europe, promoter of the transformation of abandoned railway lines into greenways in Belgium and co-founder of the European Greenways Association.
Other testimonials from greenways pioneers and promoters will be published throughout the year, to showcase inspiring persons who have contributed to the protection of Europe’s railway heritage while contributing to the development of sustainable tourism, active mobility and outdoor leisure, through the transformation of abandoned railway lines into greenways.