A greenway is a linear space, used by the public, that connects parks and other areas of a city, town or country. It consists of roads, paths, sidewalks and road areas free of vehicles in which motor vehicles are not intended to be used. Runners, cyclists and dog walkers often take advantage of these spaces, as well as anyone who wants to cross the city safely and without a car. Ambitious greenways are being built around the world, including one across the eastern border of the United States. Green belts, which can be compared to large-scale greenways, are prevalent in the UK.
Greenways often appear as long dirt roads, although this is not always the case. You can simply build a greenway along a road, either as a sidewalk or as part of the same road, where motor vehicles are not supposed to drive. Greenways often pass through wooded areas and promote activities such as bird watching and general nature observation.
Many benefits to human health may be related to the presence of greenways in a city. These trails encourage exercise such as cycling, running, walking, rollerblading and similar physical activities. In addition, when used as a means of transportation, greenways reduce gasoline emissions from motor vehicles, thus reducing air pollution.
A green lane also promotes public safety. Because it offers space for hobbies such as cycling and skating, there are fewer incentives for these activities to take place on the streets, parking lots or forbidden areas. These trails also allow disabled citizens to move around the city in wheelchairs and dog owners to safely walk their pets in a relatively car-free area.
In 1991, an urban trail project called the East Coast Greenway began in the United States to connect the entire eastern border of the country. This 3,000-mile road connects northern Maine with southern Florida, using park trails, abandoned railroads, and various other trails. Most of this greenway, however, is still on the side of the road. Only about XNUMX percent of the East Coast Greenway is completely free of traffic. Subsequent developments should increase this percentage.
Greenways are often the result of land use planning policies. Wide areas that adhere to these policies, colloquially known as green belts, discourage urban sprawl and urban development in cities, counties, states, provinces, or even entire nations. Although the word “green” is often associated with the concept of environmentalism, green belts are not always established out of simple environmental concern. They also preserve the historical aspects of various areas and control the populations. The UK’s metropolitan green belt, which surrounds the city of London, is one of the largest green ice creams in the world.