Policy and planning for large infrastructure projects: Problems, causes, and curses

Flyvbjerg, Bent (2011) Policy and planning for large infrastructure projects: Problems, causes, and curses. In: Harper, Thomas L., Hibbard, Michael, Costa, Heloisa and Gar-On Yeh, Anthony, (eds.) Dialogues in Urban and Regional Planning. Routledge, pp. 223-248. ISBN 978-0415593342


This chapter focuses on problems and their causes and cures in policy and planning for large-infrastructure projects. First, it identifies as the main problem in major infrastructure developments pervasive misinformation about the costs, benefits, and risks involved. A consequence of misinformation is cost overruns, benefit shortfalls, and waste. Second, it explores the causes of misinformation and finds that political-economic explanations best account for the available evidence: planners and promoters deliberately misrepresent costs, benefits, and risks in order to increase the likelihood that their projects, and not those of their competition, that gain approval and funding. This results in the ‘survival of the unfittest’, in which often it is not the best projects that are built, but the most misrepresented ones. Finally, it presents measures for reforming policy and planning for large-infrastructure projects with a focus on better planning methods and changed governance structures, the latter being more important.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: Listed on SSRN's Top Ten Download List for Infrastructure.
Keywords: Transport infrastructure projects; road; rail
Subject(s): Project management
Operations management
Centre: BT Centre for Major Programme Management
Faculty of Operations Management
Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2012 12:28
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2015 14:06
URI: http://eureka.sbs.ox.ac.uk/id/eprint/2317

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