Table of Contents

Handbook on Transport and Urban Planning in the Developed World

Handbook on Transport and Urban Planning in the Developed World

Edited by Michiel Bliemer, Corinne Mulley and Claudine J. Moutou

This Handbook provides comprehensive coverage of all of the major factors that underpin our understanding of urban and transport planning in the developed world. Combining urban and transport planning in one volume, the chapters present the state of the art as well as new research and directions for the future. It is an essential reference to all the key issues in this area as well as signalling areas of concern and future research paths. Academics, researchers, students, policymakers and practitioners will find it a constant source of information and guidance.

Chapter 22: Understanding mega-infrastructure decisions

Matthew J. Beck

Subjects: environment, transport, geography, cities and urban geography, human geography, transport geography/mobilities, politics and public policy, public policy, urban and regional studies, transport, urban studies, planning


Infrastructure is an important mechanism for improving economic performance and the social environment in which we live. As populations grow, existing infrastructure ages and technologies and preferences change, there is an increasing demand for new infrastructure. Many infrastructure projects are delivered successfully, but the rate at which large infrastructure projects fail remains high and, as such, these mega-projects have been studied in increasing detail over the past decade. The reasons for these failures are many and in this chapter several of the more common causes of difficulty are discussed. Specifically this chapter looks at the growing demand for infrastructure and seeks to outline the sources of technical, psychological and political complexities that can lead to project failure. Methods to avoid failure are discussed, including planning and scoping, risk management and governance. It is important to note, however, that this chapter just provides an overview. Any one of the topics discussed in this chapter is an entire body of work in its own right. Additionally, only the most commonly discussed strategies are highlighted; issues such as contracting, procurement and specific project management skills, are not discussed in this chapter.

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