Stuttgart21 is a zoning project which has as purpose the complete redesign of the main train station in Stuttgart, Germany. As part of the project, the station will be transformed from a terminus station to a pass-through station and all of it will be moved underground, below the current station. A total of 57km of new track will be laid, out of which 30km as high-speed track (designed for speeds of minimum 200km/h and up to 350km/h). Since the city of Stuttgart sits in a valley and it’s surrounded by hills, a total of 16 tunnels (around 33km) and 18 bridges will have to be built as well. Parts of the the old (and recently renovated) main station building are also to be demolished, even though they fall under the law which protects old buildings.
The project will be funded by the Deutsche Bahn, the Baden Württemberg state and the federal government and it will transform the whole Stuttgart area and mainly the city center in a construction site for years and years. The initial costs were 2.6 billions Euros and now they are up to 4 billion Euros.
Needless to say, there is a huge opposition for this whole project for years now. Despite all the opposition, the project went ahead and recently work started at the land clearing, demolishing and tree cutting near the main station building. That is when the people started to get out in the streets and there have been a lot of demonstrations, people tried to stop the demolition crews, many of them tying themselves to the trees about to be cut and so on. Yesterday night things got rather violent and the riot police intervened against a legal demonstration with water guns, tear gas and pepper spray. Many people got hurt, among which a lot of young kids who were also taking part of a legal demonstration.
People are now in uproar and supportive demonstrations are taking place in many German cities and not only. A new bigger demonstration was planned for tonight and since Stuttgart is Freya’s hometown, she is not amused about the whole issue (that is a rather huge understatement). I am also not indifferent at all towards the whole issue, so we drove to Stuttgart and took part in the demonstration. Depending of the source, there were between 50.000 and 100.000 people present, the sight of so many people in one place was overwhelming. The demonstration was peaceful this time and at least until we left, nothing happened.
Yes, I made pictures too but they don’t do justice to what happened there: