Due to the growth of the European Union and a change in people’s lifestyle, we have recently recorded a significant increase in travelling in Slovakia. Increasing interest in travelling will be most definitely present also in the future, therefore it is important to take into consideration the sustainability of the development of travelling. One of the options are abandonned and no longer used railways which are being reused thanks to the Greenways concept.
What are Greenways?
Greenways are multifunctional roads built in urban and rural areas used in accordance with their social or ecological function and the potential for sport, tourism, recreation and transport. When the old unused railways are removed, the conditions for building greenways are almost perfect. What makes them a great solution is the fact that these routes don’t cross the existing road network so there is no chance of collision with vehicles. Moreover, the elevation is minimal, even in a hilly area. They are suitable for a wide range of users, contribute to a healthier lifestlye, give opportunities for non-motorised vehicled, recreation and tourism. Additionally, they also promote the protection of natural and cultural heritage and contribute to the usage of sustainable local resources. This concept was created in the USA and within Europe the leader among Greenways project is currently Spain with more than 2 900 km of routes.
OTI is part of an Erasmus+ project named Sport in Greenways (SIGWAY) with the aim of promoting sport and healthy leisure outdoor activities by stimulating sports activities offer and mapping potential Greenways in all partner countries. The project additonally raises awareness of environmental issues and circular economy. Moreover, SIGWAY aims at enhancing sports field employability and local economies.
SIGWAY was created by the consortium of seven organisations based in Spain, Austria, Portugal, Italy, Slovakia, Belgium and Greece. Project is supported by the EU’s Erasmus+ programme in the field of Sport which focuses on promoting participation in sport and physical activity.