The role of greenways in the sustainable mobility development: the study case of western municipalities of Sicily

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As is known, mobility policies based on greenways represent an effective and comprehensive response to the demand for travel and recreation and to environmental protection as well. There are several reasons why spreading cycling mobility contributes to making cities more liveable: a more efficient urban transport system, less congested roads and, consequently, less noisy roads, more security on the roads, etc. Furthermore, cycling helps fight climate change and the conservation of fossil fuels, promotes forms of sustainable tourism development and, not least, physical activity and, thus, the health of citizens.Whereas greenways may constitute a strategic opportunity for the promotion of landscape values and the environmental requalification, the primary goal of a landscape policy based on the principles of sustainable development should aim at the multifunctionality of territorial crossing corridors in terms of mobility and ecological connection (Ahern, 1995). In this context, the bicycle is the main means for sustainable mobility policies and the promotion of territorial assets, since it appears as the instrument able to bind together their different objectives (Mennella, 2004). Therefore, policy makers must take a leap: they have to move from a conception of greenways as land-strips to the one that considers them as a complex linear system of open spaces, with a significant potential for conservation and enhancement of the landscape and environmental features of the area. Consequently, the relationship between greenways and rural areas is the key for the concrete implementation of those projects pursuing sustainable mobility.The case-study presented in this paper explores the opportunities originated by the cooperation of five municipalities which, at this time, are jointly working towards the implementation of policies and measures for the Urban Agenda of western Sicilian cities, during the 2014-2020 programming period. Among the themes selected on which they are working, the paper shows the main ideas related to that of sustainable mobility. Having examined the territorial potentials, the infrastructural system and the local and inter-municipal demand of mobility (systematic and occasional), the paper presents the model of a green infrastructure that will allow alternate paths to be made by bicycle with transfers by train, frequently matching bicycle path and railway track. This plan, aiming to increase the efficiency of the current railway service, offers two opportunities: its conversion to “tram-train”, giving to the city a new public service; the making use, where possible, of areas belonging to the railway line, for cyclists, people in wheelchairs and pedestrians, being possible to take advantage of the linear tendency and the moderate slopes of the railway infrastructure. Ultimately, with contained economic costs, on the one hand it is possible to use already existing and appropriate locations to realize platforms for non-motorized mobility, on the other hand to encourage the combined use of bicycles and train for displacements for different motives. On these premises, the realization of a greenway allows the achievement of three important objectives. The first is related to its configuration as an alternative and sustainable road network in daily journeys for reaching schools and workplaces, as well as for extra-urban displacement. The second goal is to “patch up” the relations between different territories and between landscape and its cultural heritage. Finally, last but not least, the third objective is to increase the a
Lingua originaleEnglish
Numero di pagine8
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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