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Global Developments in Public Infrastructure Procurement

Evaluating Public–Private Partnerships and Other Procurement Options

Darrin Grimsey and Mervyn K. Lewis

There is widespread acceptance of the importance of infrastructure, but less agreement about how it should be funded and procured. While most public infrastructure is still provided in-house or by traditional procurement methods – with well-researched strengths and weaknesses – the development of service concession arrangements has seen a greater emphasis on lifecycle costing, risk assessment and asset design as featured in a variety of public private partnership (PPP) delivery models. This book examines the various procurement approaches, and provides a framework for comparing their advantages and disadvantages. Drawing on international experience, it considers some of the best and worst examples of PPPs, and infrastructure projects generally, along with the lessons for improving infrastructure procurement processes.
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Chapter 3: The evolution of infrastructure services

Evaluating Public–Private Partnerships and Other Procurement Options

Darrin Grimsey and Mervyn K. Lewis

Extract

The story of the evolution of infrastructure is one of innovation. A distinction is often made between demand pull and science push in driving innovations. In the case of infrastructure, the contribution of science and technology seems obvious, for example, with the steam engine and railroads in the first industrial revolution, electricity and the internal combustion engine in the second, and the internet in the third. On the demand side, the development of infrastructure has been spurred by the growth of empires and the cities and markets they spawned. One only needs think of the infrastructure demands from the growth of Tokyo-Yokohama to 38 million or Shanghai to 24 million. In Ancient Rome, infrastructure was provided by the state. From around 1500, privately financed infrastructure began to play a role in the Spanish, Dutch and British overseas colonies, and domestically with canals, turnpikes, the railroad construction boom and the ‘Tube’. However, after World War II, state provisioning came to the fore. Developments since then have brought a revival of private activity in the oil and gas and mining sectors, communications, and public-private partnerships (PPP) roads and hospitals. There is also a revolution in infrastructure under way with digital disruption in the form of electronic tolling, route information services, Uber and driverless cars and trucks. All of these shape cities and transport networks, and are examined in detail.

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