Academic critique of megaprojects, including studies, with suggestions for better governance. Pretty good if you’re into that sort of thing.

tl;dr “Cost underestimation and overrun cannot be explained by error and seem to be best explained by strategic misrepresentation, namely lying, with a view to getting projects started.”

“On the basis of the evidence presented above, we conclude that the traffic estimates used in decision making for rail infrastructure development are highly, systematically and significantly misleading. Rail passenger traffic forecasts are consistently and significantly inflated.”

“Moreover, positive regional development effects, typically much touted by project promoters to gain political acceptance for their projects, repeatedly turn out to be non-measurable, insignificant or even negative”

I didn’t highlight, but something about needing to include private capital in funding, which is better able to deal and plan for risk than sovereign guarantees.

Cover image for Megaprojects and Risk