Blue Ways (Vies Blaves) is a project to convert almost 300km for bikers and hikers along the main rivers of the province of Barcelona: Llobregat, Anoia and Cardener. This good practice was presented at the occasion of Star Cities International Learning Session.
It deals with three main challenges: to create a network of sustainable local mobility, to improve the accessibility to the industrial, cultural and natural heritage of the territory and to promote the local development through the creation of new tourism products.
From the tourist perspective, Blue Ways go along 59 municipalities from 7 counties with a total population of 400.000 inhabitants but it must be highlighted the big area of influence since more than 5 million people live in less than half an hour. Besides the area already counts on an important offer of accommodation that will benefit form this complementary infrastructure.Thus, the project will contribute to the deconcentration of the tourism offer to the hinterlands and to break the seasonality with the creation of new tourism products, i.e. cycling tourism.
With regards to the mobility and accessibility aspects, Blue Ways have been designed to guarantee the accessibility of all kind of users (3m width, slopes up to 6%, near the river but outside the flooding areas and taking advantage of existing paths, if possible). The ways include also viewpoints along the path, rest areas in special sites, the improvement of green areas and inclusive sections near the municipalities to facilitate local leisure for residents. It also considers the connection paths with the municipalities along the ways and the connections with public transport.