A greenway is a piece of public land or track that is derelict or useless and that local people with interest and ideas have taken over and re-claimed as a worthwhile amenity. Rail trails are one of the most common forms of greenway.
Greenways are created over various distances and through often varied landscapes, such as the 42km Great Western Greenway in Co. Mayo. The greenway idea has become a widely supported and very popular concept throughout much of Europe; so much so that they now have their own European Awards.
More recent greenway developments are happening within city boundaries, introducing nature and activity back to derelict urban areas. A classic example is the 2015 1st Prize Winner, Nordbahntrasse Wuppertal (North-Rhine-Westphalia, Germany) For the transformation of the 22 Km of an abandoned railway line into an excellent inner city greenway, that develops an alternative infrastructure to connect urban and rural, furthermore protecting and enhancing industrial heritage. Pushed by citizens’ initiative, it has resulted a very successful public/private partnership with a very positive impact www.wuppertalbewegung.de
A community of local people from South Sligo. We got together in April 2015, with an idea: that is to have a Greenway created on the track of the disused railway line running from Collooney to Bellaghy in South Sligo. See the map on the right to view the Greenway route and the various amenities along it.
A network of local individuals, social and voluntary groups, and businesses with a common goal; to work together to halt decline and restore social, cultural and commercial viability to the region.
This rural area has experienced sharp economic decline with the closure of Garda stations, post offices and small businesses. In addition, Tubbercurry has had to deal with the departure of Government offices and the head office of Aurivo Co-op, with the loss of half the town’s workforce.
A Greenway development can go some way in addressing this decline. The disused railway is now seen by many as a local resource in the regeneration of South Sligo and in the creation of both an amenity and replacement jobs for the region.
The Sligo Greenway is expected to give rise to up to 50 full-time jobs from Colooney to Bellaghy. When fully integrated with the growing greenway network throughout the country further employment opportunities will be created.
Greenways in Ireland
This site - irishgreenways.com - an initiative by researchers in the Department of Civil Engineering at NUI Galway shows a comprehensive picture of greenway developments. The site is dedicated to promoting the research, development and use of greenways and other walking and cycling routes in Ireland