Greenways have the potential to be corridors for humans and wildlife alike, encompassing a vast array of environmental benefits. Yet, while greenway usage can reduce the alarmingly high carbon emissions of the transport sector, the embodied carbon of greenway construction must also be considered.
Greenways can be fantastic resources for local communities (including school children), recreationalists looking for an off-road experience and tourists. Tourism, in particular, has the potential for substantial economic impact in rural areas.
Route planning and Consultation
Greenways have encountered challenges on environmental, safety and user experience grounds, resulting in prolonged An Bord Pleanála planning cases. The Galway to Dublin 'flagship' greenway, for example, has been ‘paused’ due to serious concerns by landowners. Meaningful engagement and consultation, as well as rigorous planning and design, must be carried out to ensure that these routes serve the local community, are safe and are environmentally friendly.