The 10th European Greenways Awards have been given on September 30 2021 during the official ceremony in Valencia (Spain)
Nine greenways from Belgium, Germany, Spain, United Kingdom, Portugal, Italy, Ireland, were awarded as reference of best practices in Europe. The Award ceremony was held in Valencia (Spain).
The European Greenways Award was created in 2003 and has been held every two years since. The objective is to promote examples of best practices and to support their replication for other greenways all over Europe. The European Greenways Award is granted only to greenways under the Lille Declaration, as well as to initiatives already in existence.
EGWA has been delighted to receive 31 candidacies from 11 countries, the highest number of candidacies received so far and we warmly thank all participants for responding to the call.
In this 20121 edition the international jury meet on line 24 June, has awarded projects in three categories: “Excellence”, “Exemplary Initiatives” and one Special European Greenways Award EYR 2021. This special award is part of the activities included in the European Year of Rail 2021 (EYR), Stakeholders Initiatives.
We are pleased to announce that the award winners are:
- EXCELLENCE category
1st Prize: From Liège to Aachen by the RAVeL, a cross-border greenway via lines 38/39. Presented by the Service Public de Wallonie – Mobilité & Infrastructures – Wallonie (Belgium)
For the high quality greenway as a whole, resulting from the transformation of 2 disused railway lines, to favour daily mobility, leisure and tourism in a pleasant environment.
The new 53 km long itinerary allows to discover the railway heritage, to share the public space, in urban and rural sections, by all kind of users in a safe way, and furthermore to enjoy varied services in the transformed old railway stations. Also in consideration of its cross-border component.
2nd Prize: Waterford Greenway. Presented by Waterford City & County council (Ireland)
For the excellent 46 km long greenway, which runs through a very attractive and varied landscape, crossing bridges, impressive viaducts and an appealing tunnel, as permanent traces and highlights of its railway past.
It has excellent facilities and services that favour the diversity of uses and users, which has resulted in its great popularity. The positive impact of the Greenway has been consolidated and increased over the years. The commitment of the private sector has been one of the keys to Waterford’s success.
3rd Prize “Ex aequo”
Ojos Negros Greenway. Tramo Comunitat Valenciana / Black Eyes Greenway. Presented by Consellería de Política Territorial, Obres Públiques i Mobilitat. Generalitat Valenciana (Spain)
For the conversion of a privately owned mining railway into a very attractive and universally accessible greenway that combines respect for the natural and ethnological values of the territory with recreational use and sustainable mobility.
The maintenance of the 76 km of tunnels and viaducts has been key throughout the two decades of its construction, to encourage the use of this increasingly popular greenway, which has become an essential asset for the economy of this Mediterranean mountain rural area.
Radrevier.ruhr. Presented by Ruhr Tourismos GMbh (Germany)
For the very ambitious initiative to create a 1200 Km network connecting greenways, waterways and other cycle routes, to favour the transition to active daily mobility in a safe way, in one of the largest conurbation in Europe.
Furthermore, to support the transformation of its former industrial image into a popular destination for cycle tourists that permits to discover the rich industrial heritage, converted for other uses, with new forms of sustainable mobility.
- EXEMPLARY INITIATIVES category
1st Prize: Scottish Greenways Programme. Presented by Sustrans Scotland (UK)
For the implementation of the Bo’ness Foreshore pilot project, using a participatory methodology to improve the use of a proximity 4.8 km coastal route that responds to the community’s aspirations and needs for the site.
This methodology has been successfully applied and will guide Scotland’s Greenways Programme to make their local National Cycle Network paths more accessible and welcoming for walking, wheeling and cycling, bringing the benefits of active travel and the enjoyment of the natural environment.
2nd Prize: RFI-4-Greenways. Spread the knowledge on the disused railways to improve the realisation of greenways. Presented by Rete Ferroviaria Italiana S.P.A. (Italy)
For the set of communication actions carried out in recent years by the public company RFI and its commitment at the highest level to disseminate knowledge of the disused railway heritage, its value and the advantages for communities of their conversion into greenways; furthermore to encourage people to reach and enjoy greenways cycling and/or walking by using the train.
The publications are excellent and valuable; showing good practice examples of successful transformations and including priorities for the conversion of greenways in Italy.
3rd Prize: The Greenway of the old Basque-Navarre Railway. Three unique projects for the rehabilitation and enhancement of the heritage linked to the Basque-Navarre Greenway in Álava. Presented by Alava Provincial Council and Montaña Alavesa Cuadrilla. (Spain)
In recognition of 3 unique projects of rehabilitation and enhancement of the railway heritage of the greenway that combine artistic creation, citizen participation, technology and the fusion of the past with a vision of the future, and which are the followings:
- Participative mural and sounds in the Leorza-Cicujano tunnel.
- Fusion of participative art mural with augmented reality in Maeztu.
- Rehabilitation of an old railway warehouse following the original designs of the 1920s, as a new service facility for visitors in Antoñana.
- European Year of Rail (EYR)
Station Racour. Presented by Station Racour (Belgium)
For the transformation of a former train station as tourist accommodation, carried out on private initiative, that brings together greenways, railway heritage, tourism and mobility.
The Rancour station offers great mobility options, it is located on a greenway, easily accessible by bike via greenways from the Landen train station in Flandes and to Namur in Wallonia. Encourages its guests to explore the greenways, and has become a unique meeting point for greenway users from both the Flemish and Walloon communities.
Ecopista do Tâmega. Presented by Associação de Municípios do Baixo Tâmega (Portugal)
For the high quality greenway built on a former national railway and its beautifully restored old stations that respect and enhance the railway heritage, including the use of one of them as a railway museum.
Thanks to the greenway the railway heritage is preserved in a sustainable way and promoted active mobility, tourism and leisure for both the local population and tourists. Since its creation, the Tâmega Ecopista has become one of the main drivers of the walking and cycling tourism sector in the region.
Special Jury mention:
The jury decided to give a special mention to the Royal Canal Greenway, presented by Waterways Ireland,
The Jury congratulates the promoters for the realisation of this ambitious and recently inaugurated project, which shows overall a high quality and a great support from stakeholders. It encourages them to monitor its use, allowing to provide more complete information on its actual use, which hopefully will enable to confirm the extraordinary forecast of uses indicated in the application, which its recent implementation does not allow them to know and therefore to evaluate accordingly.
The 10th European Greenways Award 2021 has been organised by the European Greenways Association (EGWA) in cooperation with the Spanish Railways Foundation (FFE), with the support of the Generalitat Valenciana (Valencia Region), through the Regional Ministry of Territorial Policy, Public Works, and Mobility, Turisme Comunitat Valenciana, and the Chair Transport and Society
=> Live streaming broadcast on You Tube, from the Valencia region –Generalitat Valenciana channel