Cost–benefit Analysis, Planning and Innovation
Transport Economics, Management and Policy series
Edited by Hugo Priemus, Bent Flyvbjerg and Bert van Wee
Chapter 11: Innovations in the Planning of Mega-Projects
Werner Rothengatter 11.1 SOME LESSONS LEARNED FROM GOOD AND BAD EXPERIENCES The ﬁrst big railway projects (Stockton–Darlington in the UK, 1825 and Nürnberg–Fürth, 1835, in Germany) were purely business-oriented undertakings. In the second half of the nineteenth century the state came in, not only to solve the problems with bankruptcy of some major players in the railway business, but in the ﬁrst instance to coordinate the manifold railway initiatives associated with heterogeneous infrastructure and rolling stock as well as the diﬀerent types of organisation. Friedrich List (1841) was the protagonist of spatial development policy through railway infrastructures, and his vision was to improve accessibility of the German regions so radically through an eﬃcient railway network that Germany would catch up with the UK economy, which at that time was far ahead because of the Commonwealth. It is obvious that the various spatial impacts stemming from a megaproject in the sense of Friedrich List cannot be captured by the project company. This justiﬁes the state coming in and forming a public–private partnership. Other reasons for the state’s participation are high risk, reduction of external eﬀects or social balance (e.g. for regional development). As soon as the state comes in, however, the race is opened for all kinds of rentseeking activities. Naturally, the private investors are interested in using state bodies and politicians as promoters for the project, and they will try to hedge their risk and gain supernormal proﬁts through the...
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