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The train will pass through the Susa Valley, via various tunnels, the longest one extending over 50km, to connect St.Jean-de-Maurienne (France) to Venaus (Italy), making it the main tunnel to cross the Alps.The “No TAV” movement, spontaneously born in the 1990s, is the grass-roots movement of the Susa Valley population against the construction of the tunnel.

The area is scarred by infrastructure like the Frejus highway, an international railway, and numerous dams, tunnels and industries.

Since World War II its economy has shifted from agriculture to industry, mainly steel, services and trade.

The Upper Valley has 12 909 inhabitants with 579 persons per km2 (ISTAT, 2001).

It is not surprising then that a conflict between national and local development plans rapidly erupted, dividing the country into Pro TAV, and No TAV groups.

The community of the Susa Valley is a historically united population, renowned for its anti-fascist resistance and struggles dating from the 1980s against big infrastructure projects (Leonardi, 2007).This case study explores the motives and rationale of the main actors, highlighting the role of power relations and an underlying clash of ideologies, and suggesting how tools and concepts of ecological economics might be applied to support alternative proposals from civil society.

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