A footbridge (also called a pedestrian bridge, pedestrian overpass, or pedestrian overcrossing) is a bridge designed for pedestrians and in some cases cyclists, animal traffic, and horse riders, instead of vehicular traffic. Footbridges complement the landscape and can be used decoratively to visually link two distinct areas or to signal a transaction. In many developed countries, footbridges are both functional and can be beautiful works of art and sculpture. For poor rural communities in the developing world, a footbridge may be a community's only access to medical clinics, schools and markets, which would otherwise be unreachable when rivers are too high to cross. Simple suspension bridge designs have been developed to be sustainable and easily constructible in such rural areas using only local materials and labor.
An enclosed footbridge between two buildings is sometimes known as a skyway. Bridges providing for both pedestrians and cyclists are often referred to as greenbridges and form an important part of sustainable transport movement towards more sustainable[clarification needed] cities. Footbridges are often situated to allow pedestrians to cross water or railways in areas where there are no nearby roads to necessitate a road bridge. They are also located across roads to let pedestrians cross safely without slowing down the traffic. The latter is a type of pedestrian separation structure, examples of which are particularly found near schools, to help prevent children running in front of moving cars.
Small footbridges can also be used for a technical effect in ornamental gardens.