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Conference paper
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apo-nid178246.docx 3.75 MB

This paper explores the development of the ‘problem-solution nexus’ of a cancelled mega urban transport project in Melbourne, Australia. The East-West Link (Eastern Section) was the most recent iteration of a cross-town motorway connection that has been proposed numerous times since the 1960s, most recently in early 2013. After a State parliamentary election in November 2014, in which the opposition party defeated the incumbent, the project contracts were cancelled, amid widespread community discontent. This research employs the concept of ‘problem-solution nexus’ (Sturup, 2010) – in which problem and solution are recursively generated and arise in tandem – to explore the historical framing of the problems the project was intended to solve. We perform a discourse analysis of historical planning documents, newspaper articles, and government reports. Our work reveals a shifting and unstable nexus, in which processes of technical rendition change the definition of the problem and correspondingly the form of the solution. The findings suggest that the instability in the EWT’s problem-solution nexus may have created the space for the political dissent and resistance against the project.

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