Stuttgart 21 – the Green’s view

The following was written by Madeleine Wahlberg, about the protests against Stuttgart 21.  It’s a followup to her earlier article.

In the news you may catch sight of the large demonstrations against a high speed proposal in Stuttgart, Germany. In a recent post we gave the links for the arbitration hearing that tried to resolve tensions around this development (called Stuttgart 21). Well the project has not been fundamentally changed, so the objections have fundamentally not stopped!

Here is a summary in English of the Stuttgart Green Party’s ten-point objection to the S21 development of high speed trains Summary Stuttgart Green Party 10 points against S21 [final]

The full text of their objection is: Translation Stuttgart Green Party 10 points against S21 [final]

In my opinion the Stuttgart high speed train proposal is an example of the obfuscation of real costs by the developers; inadequate planning particularly of the knock-on effects on other rail services; inept government controls; a lack of concern for heritage at even the most protected levels; disinterest in the needs of passengers if those conflict with maximum throughput of trains; an insistence on arguments about a business and an economic case that really cannot be substantiated – if all of this reminds you of HS2 then read on!

This five page article on the Stuttgart 21 high speed train development is from The Spiegel magazine – but note it was written 2 months before over 65,000 demonstrated, the police used water cannon and teargas, and 130 were injured.

To see photographs of the demonstrations go here. Skim through to get ideas from the small scale demonstrations trying to save individual trees; the large scale demonstrations; the flash publicity event put on by the developers; and a pro-development demonstration that responded to the Green Party ‘ten reasons to be against S21’ with ’21 reasons to be for S21’.

During the current demonstration (end of January 2011) a banner was unfurled to remind the ruling CDU Party that elections were coming up in March. What can we learn in Britain from the S21 development and the way that it is being opposed?

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