Edited by Michiel Bliemer, Corinne Mulley and Claudine J. Moutou
Chapter 22: Understanding mega-infrastructure decisions
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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