Controversy over Västlänken

Detta är en Master-uppsats från Göteborgs universitet/Institutionen för globala studier

Sammanfattning: This study explores the negative citizenry response to the infrastructure project known as Västlänken, a railway tunnel in central Gothenburg. The project has turned into a controversial conflict with political and public ramifications. The study’s research questions are focused on understanding the assessments of organised opponents to Västlänken to provide a deeper understanding of why it has developed into a conflict. It is thus of qualitative nature with methods including semi-structured interviews and thematic analysis. The study is approached from a lens of Facility Siting, a multidisciplinary-research field with focus on land-use conflicts. Conceptualisations were based on three previous studies that share similar traits to Västlänken. Authors are Marcia Grimes (2005), Annelie-Sjölander Lindqvist (2004) and Bent Flyvbjerg (1998). Their cases contribute with theoretical input stemming from notions of procedural fairness, sense of place, and the relationship between rationality and power. The analysis concluded that decision-makers have progressively over time constructed a modern vision of ‘what ought to be’ Gothenburg’s next railway development, which has manifested with Västlänken. This vision has been given precedence over public and political concerns, including national legislation which has been bent in favour of bypassing Västlänken. The study resembles thus most similarities with Bent Flyvbjerg’s case of Aalborg, where stakeholders secured an objective despite no support from any proper documentation. It was done through means of power, which ultimately gave them the ability to define what counts as rationality and thus reality.

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