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Conflicting Perspectives on Water in a Swedish Railway Tunnel Project

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The building of a railway tunnel through the Hallandsas ridge in the southwest of Sweden resulted in sinking groundwater levels and a toxic spill for the local community. As a result, this highly technological project expanded from the addressing of technological and economic issues of rail traffic and tunnel building to include issues of environmental harm and how to assess and manage the geology of the ridge. A central concern for local residents as well as for the developer has been how to view and interpret the resource of groundwater. This article focuses on groundwater as a boundary object, bordering the domains of the technologists and the local community. In this situation, technological understanding and knowledge confronts an experience-based understanding and a symbolic interpretation of the water resource.

Keywords: controversy; interpretation; meanings; railway tunnel; water

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: May 1, 2005

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  • Environmental Values is an international peer-reviewed journal that brings together contributions from philosophy, economics, politics, sociology, geography, anthropology, ecology and other disciplines, which relate to the present and future environment of human beings and other species. In doing so we aim to clarify the relationship between practical policy issues and more fundamental underlying principles or assumptions.

    Environmental Values has an impact factor (2015) of 1.311.
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