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Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 501896
Title Public protests against the Beijing-Shenyang high-speed railway in China
Author(s) He, Guizhen; Mol, Arthur P.J.; Lu, Yonglong
Source Transportation Research. Part D, Transport and Environment 43 (2016). - ISSN 1361-9209 - p. 1 - 16.
Department(s) Environmental Policy
Raad van Bestuur
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2016
Keyword(s) China - Environmental concerns - Environmental protest - Infrastructure - NIMBY - Public participation

With the rapid expansion of the high-speed railway infrastructure in China, conflicts arise between the interests of local citizens living along the planned tracks and the national interests of governmental authorities and project developers. This paper addresses questions of why and how Chinese citizens mobilize for and participate in protests against high-speed railway projects and to what effect. To this end, a comprehensive study was conducted on the decision-making process, public opinions, and protest actions regarding the plans and site choices for the Beijing-Shenyang high-speed railway from 2008 to 2013, combining quantitative and qualitative methods. In general, local residents are supportive of high-speed railway project construction, but they contest the closed decision-making process and the poor design and siting choices for the track by governmental authorities and companies. After four years of resident protests through formal complaints, lobbying, protest demonstrations, organizing alternative opinion polls, and discussions with authorities, citizens were partially successful in changing the siting of the track, adding protective measures (e.g., tunnels and sound screens), and saving green belts. Two conclusions can be drawn from this case study. First, regardless of the growing legal requirements, public participation in major projects in China is far from a standard practice. Final citizen participation is often preceded by serious conflict. Second, with defined good governance boundaries, there is increasing room for public participation in environmental movements, which does influence final decisions.

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