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A greenway is a long, narrow piece of land, often used for recreation and pedestrian and bicycle traffic and sometimes including multiple transportation (streetcar, light rail) or retail uses.


The term greenway comes from the "green" in green belt and the "way" in parkway, implying a recreational or pedestrian use rather than a typical street corridor, as well as an emphasis on introducing or maintaining vegetation, in a location where such vegetation is otherwise lacking. Some greenways include community gardens as well as typical park-style landscaping of trees and shrubs. They also tend to have a mostly contiguous pathway, allowing urban commuting via bicycle or foot.


The land may be newly developed, but usually it is redeveloped, having been formerly occupied by a railroad, highway, or other transportation route. Many greenways in urban centers or developed areas are linear parks. Greenways often are defined by municipal governments as having the following characteristics: vegetated, linear, and multi-purpose.

Global greenways

Greenways are located internationally such as the Trans Canada Trail in Canada, the East Coast Greenway in the United States, the Vías Verdes in Spain, the Gold Coast Oceanway in Australia or the EuroVelo cycle routes and the European Greenways Association routes throughout Europe.

Specific examples of greenways

Notable greenways

See also


  • Flink, Charles A. & Searns, Robert M. (1993) Greenways A Guide to Planning, Design and Development Island Press
  • Flink, Charles A., Searns, Robert M. & Olka, Kristine (2001) Trails for the Twenty-First Century Island Press
  • Smith, Daniel S. & Hellmund, Paul Cawood. (1993) Ecology of Greenways: Design and Function of Linear Conservation Areas. University of Minnesota Press
  • Fabos, Julius Gy. and Ahern, Jack (Eds.) (1995) Greenways: The Beginning of an International Movement, Elsevier Press
  • Little, Charles E. Greenways for America (1990) Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Guide to the Charles E. Little papers, 1975-1990, an advocate for greenways

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