Decision-Making on Mega-Projects
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Decision-Making on Mega-Projects

Cost–benefit Analysis, Planning and Innovation

  • Transport Economics, Management and Policy series

Edited by Hugo Priemus, Bent Flyvbjerg and Bert van Wee

This book enlarges the understanding of decision-making on mega-projects and suggest recommendations for a more effective, efficient and democratic approach. Authors from different scientific disciplines address various aspects of the decision-making process, such as management characteristics and cost–benefit analysis, planning and innovation and competition and institutions. The subject matter is highly diverse, but certain questions remain at the forefront. For example, how do we deal with protracted preparation processes, how do we tackle risks and uncertainties, and how can we best divide the risks and responsibilities among the private and public players throughout the different phases of the project?
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Chapter 11: Innovations in the Planning of Mega-Projects

Werner Rothengatter

Extract

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...

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