Focus group in Belgium

EGWA has organised three focus meetings; the first two addressed to Belgian representatives, and the third open to EGWA members at European level. The variety of representatives, with extensive real experience, has allowed a rich and realistic exchange of points of view. In the case of Wallonia (BE), the priorities are now more focused on the connection of greenways and the improvement of existing ones. This is because the Walloon region has an extensive development of greenways, where the vast majority of disused railway lines have already been converted. The progress of the potential greenways identified in the previous phase of the SIGWAY project reflects these connection and improvement actions.

Some common issues raised in the meetings are:

  • Budget, public administrations have an essential role in the implementation of greenways and, in particular, in the rehabilitation of major railway infrastructure works – viaducts, tunnels which small municipalities cannot afford.
  • Maintenance is the only way to keep infrastructure alive. All those responsible must commit to maintenance from its creation.
  • Governance and local cooperation are essential for maintenance, promotion and making the most of the greenways.

The feedback from these focus groups will be integrated into the strategy for transforming greenways as actively used sports and outdoor infrastructures, in the next phase of the SIGWAY project.