photo: Courtesy of Ekopolis
The Central European Greenways programme has provided grants to six Slovak municipalities, through the Ekopolis foundation, to promote safer roads for cyclists, and revitalise parks for relaxation and recreation near busy areas.
The first towns to try out the project have been Martin, Pezinok, Slovenská Ľupča, and Terchová, which also organised sport and culture activities during the European Week of Mobility. The event, which ran from September 16 to 22, encouraged the public to take up cycling and walking as a healthier alternative to motor transport, and drew attention to the consequences of environmental pollution.
Thanks to Greenways, Pezinok cyclists can now avoid busy roads by peddling their way along a new 17-kilometre cycle path to take a swim at their favourite Senecké jazerá lakes. In Slovenská Ľupča, the municipality has revived a nearby forest park, while in Terchová the authorities solved the problem of dangerous traffic by laying a new path connecting the village's important sites of interest. The city of Martin also did itself proud by promoting leisure pathways and cycle routes, eagerly assisted by the local Turiec cycle group.
Having enjoyed a long and successful tradition in Europe and the USA, Greenways has promoted a healthier lifestyle by encouraging people to reduce their reliance on road transport, developing tourism and protecting the environment.
The Ekopolis foundation received 46 project applications from across the country. Civic associations, non-profit organisations, and relevant groups could apply and be considered for grants up to Sk25,000 (€620).
Ekopolis, who financed most of this year's programme, aims to continue supporting the development of Greenways in Slovakia, with help from organisations and sponsors who share the same philosophy of creating a healthier lifestyle and environment in or around built-up areas.
By Zuzana Habšudová
11. Oct 2004 at 0:00