Big Projects Face Growing Resistance

The internet and social media have transformed grassroots protesters into rapid-response teams. Modern movements are “Well-informed, confrontational and devoid of respect for authority” with a “radical undercurrent,” notes an article in Spiegel Online: “Wherever ambitious construction ventures loom on the horizon in Germany – from the cities to the countryside, from the coastlines in the north to the Black Forest in the south – opponents are taking to the streets. More often than not, the demonstrators are protesting against projects that stand for change: extensions to airports, railways, new wind farms or power lines.” The article describes a German police officer who leads an association of more than 80 protest groups and spends his free time monitoring traffic and noise at the Munich airport to oppose construction of a third runway. For some, big infrastructure is a sign of progress. For others, the rapid innovations are tiresome with cost over-runs and benefits limited to a few. Critics blame an aging society, but the young question future costs and need, too. – YaleGlobal

Big Projects Face Growing Resistance

A new protest culture and unwillingness to compromise make it more difficult for to complete big infrastructure projects in Germany
Sven Böll, Horand Knaup and Paul Middelhoff
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
© SPIEGEL ONLINE 2014

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