The Greenway Imperative
Connecting Communities and Landscapes for a Sustainable Future

Charles A. Flink

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Trailblazing greenway projects from vision to reality
“[Flink] draws from his professional experience in greenway design and development to reveal the world’s growing need for such spaces and the processes used to bring them to life.”—Landscape Architecture Magazine  
“Flink shares how his experiences across more than three decades of greenway planning and development shaped his understanding of what a greenway is and how these corridors can be used to help solve a host of challenges that communities face. . . . Demonstrate[s] how anyone can become involved in the greenways that shape our communities, our regions and, together, even our world.”—Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
“Practitioner, philosopher, and pragmatist, no one knows more about greenways than Chuck Flink. This book tells the story of communities that have transformed neglected places into prosperous places, but it also sets out a compelling vision for a national network of interconnected trails and greenspaces that can provide multiple benefits for people, communities, and our economy.”—Edward T. McMahon, coauthor of Green Infrastructure: Linking Landscapes and Communities  
“From one of the preeminent greenway designers and planners of our generation comes an autobiography and comprehensive compendium about greenways: why they are important, how to plan and design them, and how to make them happen.”—Alana Brasier, operations and public space manager, Tampa Downtown Partnership  
“Flink, one of the pivotal thinkers and doers of the modern United States greenways movement, tells of his life’s work with a swirl of enthusiastic generosity and a flood of detailed memories. Every page reveals his big heart and his unfailing optimism for a greener and more connected America.”—Peter Harnik, author of Urban Green: Innovative Parks for Resurgent Cities  
“Through the stories in this book, Charles Flink has given us a greenway imperative to apply in cities and towns everywhere, regardless of their physical, financial, or political makeup. Flink shows us that greenways hold the power to transform, making the places and people they touch part of that change.”—Jeffrey Ciabotti, Toole Design  
The Greenway Imperative offers insight into how greenway projects are transformed from concept to reality. The book is so engaging I couldn’t put it down.”—Sig Hutchinson, Wake County Commissioner  
In this eye-opening journey through some of America’s most innovative landscape architecture projects, Charles Flink shows why we urgently need greenways. A leading authority in greenway planning, design, and development, Flink presents inspiring examples of communities that have come together to build permanent spaces for the life-sustaining power of nature.  
The Greenway Imperative reveals the stories behind a variety of multiuse natural corridors, taking readers to Grand Canyon National Park, suburban North Carolina, the banks of the Miami River, and many other settings. Flink, who was closely involved with each of the projects in this book during his 35-year career, introduces the people who jumpstarted these initiatives and the challenges they overcame in achieving them.  
Flink explains why open green spaces are increasingly critical today. “Much more than a path through the woods,” he says, greenways conserve irreplaceable real estate for the environment, serve as essential green infrastructure, shape the way people travel within their communities, reduce impact from flooding and other natural disasters, and boost the economies of cities and towns.  
Greenways can and should dramatically reshape the landscape of America in the coming years, Flink argues. He provides valuable reflections and guidance on how we can create resilient communities and satisfy the human need for connection with the natural world.  
Charles A. Flink is an award-winning author, planner, and landscape architect. He is founder and president of Greenways Incorporated, an environmental planning and landscape architecture firm based in Durham, North Carolina, and professor of the practice in landscape architecture at North Carolina State University. He is coauthor of Greenways: A Guide to Planning, Design, and Development and Trails for the Twenty-First Century: Planning, Design, and Management Manual for Multi-Use Trails.
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