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Lasse Gerrits and Stefan Verweij

We explain and demonstrate how the selected cases have to be prepared for the actual comparison. This involves a serious effort with regard to the interpretation of the case materials. In QCA, this process of interpreting data is guided by calibration, where raw (qualitative) case data are transformed into quantitative values. Calibration is important because it systematizes interpretation and makes it transparent. There are three principle types of calibration in QCA: crisp-set QCA, fuzzy-set QCA, and multi-value QCA. We explain and demonstrate the different types of calibration using real examples. We also discuss good practices that will help the researcher in making sound decisions when calibrating. The calibration results in a calibrated data matrix, which forms the input for the formal comparison in QCA. Having completed this chapter, the researcher will be able to start the comparison.

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Lasse Gerrits and Stefan Verweij

We explain why it is important to research specific cases and how exactly cases are to be understood and studied using QCA. Cases allow the researcher to account for the heterogeneity, uniqueness, and contextuality of projects. Whereas the term ‘case’ is often used indiscriminately, in QCA it is a clearly defined and important building block. In QCA, cases are conceptualized as configurations of conditions. This configurational nature highlights the complexity of the case. Cases can be researched in two principal ways: case-driven and theory-driven. The case-driven route is decidedly grounded in empirical material, with the boundaries and aspects of cases being constructed during the empirical research process. In the more theory-driven route, the boundaries and aspects of cases are defined by prior theories. Both routes constitute dialogues between data and theory. The chapter explains the concrete research steps involved in both routes.

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Lasse Gerrits and Stefan Verweij

We explain and demonstrate how the researcher can identify recurring patterns across cases on the basis of the calibrated data matrix, in a systematic and transparent way. The comparative process in QCA consists of three main steps. First, the calibrated data matrix needs to be transformed into a truth table. In the truth table, the cases are sorted across the logically possible configurations of conditions. Second, the truth table has to be minimized. This is done through the pairwise comparison of truth table rows that are considered to agree on the outcome and differ in their score in but one of the conditions. The result of the minimization is a solution formula. Third, the solution formula needs to be interpreted. Two common issues in the truth table minimization are limited diversity and logical contradictions. We present various strategies for dealing with these issues.

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Lasse Gerrits and Stefan Verweij

In this concluding chapter, some of the main issues concerning the evaluation of complex infrastructure projects with QCA are revisited. First, QCA’s capacity to truly capture and study the complexity of the development of infrastructure projects is discussed. QCA’s take on complex causality is relatively static because it does not explicitly integrate the time dimension. Various strategies to integrate time in QCA are discussed, including Temporal QCA (TQCA) and Time-Series QCA (TS/QCA). The different strategies have their strengths and weaknesses and they relate to different research steps (i.e., the case, the calibration, and the comparison) involved in QCA. Second, the deployment of QCA in real-world evaluations and various issues evaluators may run into are discussed. These issues include learning and political accountability, the presentation and visualization of results, and the transfer of lessons learned.

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The Evaluation of Complex Infrastructure Projects

A Guide to Qualitative Comparative Analysis

Lasse Gerrits and Stefan Verweij

Infrastructure projects are notoriously hard to manage so it is important that society learns from the successes and mistakes made over time. However, most evaluation methods run into a conundrum: either they cover a large number of projects but have little to say about their details, or they focus on detailed single-case studies with little in terms of applicability elsewhere. This book presents Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) as an alternative evaluation method that solves the conundrum to enhance learning.
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Lasse Gerrits and Stefan Verweij

We argue that infrastructure projects are complex and that evaluations of such projects need to do justice to that complexity. The three principal aspects discussed here are heterogeneity, uniqueness, and context. Evaluations that are serious about incorporating the complexity of projects need to address these aspects. Often, evaluations rely on single case studies. Such studies are useful because they allow researchers to focus on the heterogeneous, unique, and contextual nature of projects. However, their relevance for explaining other (future) projects is limited. Larger-n studies allow for the comparison of cases, but they come with the important downside that their relevance for explaining single projects is limited because they cannot incorporate heterogeneity, uniqueness, and context sufficiently. The method Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) presents a promising solution to this conundrum. This book offers a guide to using QCA when evaluating infrastructure projects.

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Lasse Gerrits and Stefan Verweij

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John Stanley, Janet Stanley and Roslynne Hansen

The way the spatial arrangement of land use and transport initiatives in a city can promote urban productivity growth has become a greater planning focus in recent years, building on work on ‘wider economic benefits’. The major part of this chapter looks at such macro-economic underpinnings of strategic urban land use transport planning and suggests how growing spatial understanding of such matters can be used to support urban productivity growth and the sharing of the benefits of this growth more widely among residents of the city. It does this by presenting detailed case study material from Melbourne and London. Similar broad structural economic influences are operating in both cities and the broad land use transport policy directions chosen by each have much in common. They differ, however, with respect to the role that knowledge clusters are being asked to play outside the central city. Planners need to be cognisant of how land use development directions can best play a supportive role in the circumstances of their particular city. The second part of the chapter looks at congestion costs, as an important micro-economic problem that has land use transport policy directions. The macro and micro parts are brought together in a discussion about land use transport policy and planning directions to enhance the external (productivity) benefits of a city and reduce various ‘external costs’.

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John Stanley, Janet Stanley and Roslynne Hansen

Strategic long-term land use transport plans need to be complemented by implementation plans, which explain how projects and programmes of works will be financed and funded. With substantial sums available internationally for the financing of good infrastructure projects, funding is generally seen as a more significant barrier to implementing long-term land use transport plans. This chapter, therefore, focuses on funding, which includes government funding, funding from service users and funding from other service beneficiaries, requiring a focus on identifying and valuing potential benefits and the associated beneficiaries. It approaches the topic primarily by considering how urban public transport services might be funded, in a wider setting in which cities commonly lack the autonomy to be financially independent. It looks at how public transport is funded in North American and Australian cities, identifies principles to help choose between alternative possible funding measures, elaborates a range of such measures and suggests how they might be bundled into funding packages. This bundling is illustrated for two scenarios: the first is where pricing measures are in place to ensure that road (car) users meet the various external costs associated with their travel choices, through marginal social cost pricing of road use; the second assumes a lack of such pricing of road (car) use.

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John Stanley, Janet Stanley and Roslynne Hansen

A broader scope for integrated land use transport planning increases the complexity of associated governance requirements, an area that good cities manage well. This chapter looks at horizontal and vertical integration and presents a number of international case studies to help inform practice. Horizontal integration seems to work best when there is a clear and unambiguous voice for the city, which also has benefits of transparency and accountability. This is easiest when there is a single local authority responsible for the city but alternative approaches are also examined, as are ways in which national/federal levels of government might engage with integrated urban land use transport planning (vertical integration). The chapter argues for devolution of more decision-making power and associated funding to neighbourhood level and points to the need for governance arrangements to support this change. Some of the proposed changes to governance arrangements would shake up the current power balance in land use transport policy and planning in some cities. Such change is likely to be more easily accomplished if the city is able to speak strongly for itself, is adequately resourced, a wide range of stakeholders is engaged in the process and all are able to operate from a position of trust. The chapter identifies some of the requirements in relation to trust.