Pilsener ‚greenways’ was awarded by EGWA
European Greenway Association awarded Greenways Award for the fourth time. Pilsen sent up its ´Sport-recreational Greenways in the Pilsner Rivers Valleys´ to this competition. Unique project in the Czech Republic draw attention in the competition of the projects of Western Europe. Why?
Greenways are specified by the European Greenways Associations (EGWA) in the Lille Declaration (12 September 2000): „Communication routes reserved exclusively for non-motorised journeys, developed in an integrated manner which enhances both the environment and quality of life of the surrounding area. These routes should meet satisfactory standards of width, gradient, and surface condition to ensure that they are both user-friendly and low-risk for users of all abilities. The use of disused railway lines and canal towpaths will be critical." The competition is open for every EU organisation from all states in EU which contributes to the development of greenways. EGWA has two categories Sustainanble development and Mobility. Professional jury awarded six projects by the prizes and two projects got special prize.
Pilsen sent up to the competition for Mobility Award
its Sport-recreational Greenways in the Pilsner Rivers Valleys Project
. It is clear that routes along rivers are comfortable, without hills so they are suitable for all ages walking and cycling people. Valleys of the rivers or springs are usually like as green oasas in the cities especially in river flood-plains where the water spreads during floods. Because Pilsen city is situated on conclusion of four rivers (Úhlava, Úslava, Radbuza and Mže) it has many kilometres of river flood-plains, bridges and footbridges connected left and right banks of rivers. Just in one river flood-plain the oldest bikeroute, which is the core of this spreading net, was builded up. "When we build up this part of bikeroute in the beginning of nineties, we had a lot of problems especially with landowners. We was succesfull in solving so we can connect city centre and Slovany suberb along the river till water station,"
deputy mayor of Pilsen city Petr Náhlík sais.
With more and more parts along the rivers and more foot&bike-bridges offering safety connection between both river banks using by the citizens is incresing. More and more people use river flood-plains for walk, bike and in-line transport not for recreation only. Total number of transport cyclists (means people who use bike for transport to the office, school or shopping) is rising, so making complex system of safe and mutually connected ways along rivers is logically solution. It looks simple in the plans of urbanists but realisation is not so simple. The realisation comes on step by step. Pilsner greenways means the system, which is completed like mosaic by the parts of new routes, foot-bridges and also playgrounds, sport areas or rest places. "It is long-distance running," sais one of iniciators of the project František Zídek from Urban Planning and Development Institute of the City of Pilsen. "We finished studies of missing parts, the other ones are in the process of preparation. Before our work on the studies we had to negotiate with the landowners. This is very hard work." ´Sport-recreational Greenways in the Pilsner Rivers Valleys´ project has voted by the city council in 6th September 2007 and works has been continued. It has been finished for 13 kilometres of ways and build up 7 foot-bridges, another 5 foot-bridges connected another ways. "Connecting by the foot-bridges across Mže river would be realized about 2012 year," sais manager of the project Petr Raška from Urban Planning and Development Institute of the City of Pilsen.
Pilsen got the second prize for its system in Mobility cathegory. Project manager Petr Raška took the prize (see photo) in Belgium on Friday 9th October St. Vidth city. "I´m happy for the prize, but it is not only prize for me. The success is credit of all members of our team," sais. "We want to inform cyclists on plzenskoankole.cz website because cyclists are one of the target group that the project is intended for," sais Raška.
Deputy mayor for environment of Pilsen city Petr Náhlík is pleased by this prestigeous award: "It is clear, that it is important not only to realize the project, but also to promote it in international context. We entered to this competition for the first time and we were succesfull. European Greenways Award is important prize because it is awarded by experts. It shows that Pilsen has right way not only in construction of greenways but also in enforcing safety and no-border buildings in the city."
In the Mobility category the pilsner greenways is the first awarded project of former Eastern countries
First prize for the best greenway in Europe got in Mobility category in 2009 northern Ireland Comber Greenways
, in Sustainable tourism and Greenways Marketing category Via Verde de la Sierra
in Spain. In this category Portugese Ecopista do Minho
and French voie verte Questembert/Mauron a des Gaves
nearby wellknown spa Lourdes was awarded too. This greenway is specially intended for ear, eye or motion handicapped people. Belgian-German Vennbahn in Ardeny
and British Water Railway
in Lincolnshire was awarded by special prize by the jury.
European Greenway Asssociation (EGWA)
European Greenway Asssociation (EGWA) collected greenways developing organisations in more over 15 EU countries including Czech Republic. For this year the prize was awarded together with European Comission, German speakings communities in Belgium, region Vallonia and Spanish Foundation for Biodiversity Support. Czech environmental foundation Partnership (Nadace Partnerství) which is representative of EGWA in the Czech Republic and Central Europe also promote EGWA Awards. "We are glad, that Czech Republic and specially Pilsen city participated in this competition. Pilsner city system has no analogy in our country and we hope, that similar model will be enforced into another bigger cities like Prague or Brno," explaines Daniel Mourek from Partnership Foundation. "We welcome finishing of Pilsner greenways net along rivers in the city. We supported making up new rest place nearby greenway along Radbuza river from by our grant programme," sais Mourek.
European Greenway Association (EGWA)
Pilsner greenways scheme with the foot-bridges marked points