This organisation was created in 1998 in Namur (Belgium) with the aim of encouraging the creation and promotion of greenways in Europe. It brings together more than nearly 50 different organizations from 16 European countries involved in the development of greenways. The constitution of the European Greenways Association was decided In May 1997, within the framework of the First European Conference on Soft Traffic and Railways Paths (Val-Dieu, Belgium). The association’s constituent assembly was held in Namur, Belgium, on January 8th, 1998. A statute was signed by 17 representatives of institutions and associations from many European countries. In 2009 General Secretariat moved to Madrid, where it was created an executive office from which the association is managed. Since its foundation in 1998, EGWA has:
- Contributed to the preservation of infrastructure such as disused railway corridors, canal tow paths and historic routes (Roman roads, pilgrims’ paths, etc) with the aim of converting them into traffic-free routes and maintaining public access to the land;
- Encouraged the use of non-motorized transport, by drawing up inventories of potential routes and technical reports;
Promoted and coordinated the exchange of expertise and information between different associations and national and local bodies involved in developing greenways throughout Europe;
- Advised local and national bodies on how to develop traffic-free routes;
- Collaborated with European bodies to support their policies on sustainable development, environmental issues, regional balance and employment.
- With the collaboration of many different partners, EGWA carry out European projects. The common objective is to promote and going further in the promotion and the acknowledging of the contribution of these infrastructures to the development and diversification of regional and local economies and for the soft mobility.