Västlänken - Infrastruktursatsning i envägskommunikation eller dialog?
Sammanfattning: This study is about the participatory planning that took place regarding the planning of Västlänken. In the 1980s preliminary studies begun concerning the infrastructure project, which has gained momentum today. Västlänken, will result in an eight-kilometer long underground tunnel and is expected to be completed in 2026. The project is marked as an important component in the ambition of creating a sustainable city. The debate about the tunnel has attracted a broader audience, popular movements have arisen with the purpose of preventing the construction and creating a debate on the basis in which the project is grounded. The formation of new public movements has questioned the value of Västlänken, this makes the project interesting to study from a participatory planning perspective.With the aim of investigating how Trafikkontoret (department of traffic) has worked with participatory planning and how the popular movement has experienced the degree of communication, the study has approached the subject from a human geographic point of view. The opinions of the participatory planning was studied through qualitative interviews. Trafikkontoret and five respondents in prominent networks have participated in interviews conducted between April 3rd and May 2nd, 2018. The results were analyzed against two prominent planning theories, rational and communicative planning as well as Arnstein's ladder of participation which highlights levels of citizen participation in decision making. The concept sense of place is reflected throughout the essay, as a process of planning that is inclusive or exclusive towards participants can be argued to affect the citizens’ sense of place in projection and dialogue.The study revealed disagreements regarding the participatory planning applied. The peoples movement and Trafikkontoret have emphasized different perceptions of the dialogue process, where Trafikkontoret argue that communication has taken place to a reasonable degree. In contrast, the peoples movement suggests that the dialogue has been inadequate and that the project has been communicated through campaigns about information rather than dialogue. Participatory planning as method is seen as an important component of sustainable urban development. The diffuse meaning and lack of general definition imply difficulties for implementation, as confirmed in the study.
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