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A fascinating account of how promoters of multi-billion dollar megaprojects systematically and self-servingly misinform parliaments, the public and the media in order to get projects approved and built. The authors not only explore problems but also suggest practical solutions drawing on theory and evidence from the hundreds of projects studied.
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'Life is too short to read every tome penned by Scandinavian and German social scientists. But Megaprojects and Risk, written by Bent Flyvbjerg, Nils Bruzelius and Werner Rothengatter, is a cracker. In lurid and startling detail it examines dozens of vast construction schemes around the world.' The Times
'... impressive ... Get the book and read the story. It's megamazing.' Law Society Journal
'I will use this book for many years to come in my urban planning classes ... Anyone concerned with public works projects, planning, and ethics in public policy making should read this book. It provides a genuinely original perspective.' Martin Wachs, University of California, Berkeley
'This book is a warning against the betrayal of public trust when hubris and profit come together. It shows that some decisions are too important to be left only to the accredited experts; that there is no substitute for a post-normal science involving citizens' active participation ... We should all learn the lesson brought home by this book, and never accept uncritically the experts' 'magic numbers' that are used to justify megaprojects.' Silvio Funtowicz and Jerry Ravetz, authors of Uncertainty and Quality of Science for Policy
'Reading this fascinating story ... one is reminded of Enron and similar affairs ... recommends itself.' Andreas Faludi, University of Nijmegen
'The book is provocative throughout, documenting the often dismal performance history of these huge projects and calling attention to the forces that make reform a formidable undertaking.' Civil Engineering
'Megaprojects and Risk is an important and innovative book. It should be required reading for any serious student of planning and project management, as well as for professionals concerned with the planning and financing of public projects.' Peter Hall, Institute of Community Studies, London
'... should be required reading for anybody in government with any role of budgetary oversight.' Moneyweb
'The book is of enormous practical relevance, written by a team whose empirical engagement with their material - and what important empirical and theoretical material it is - is exemplary ... This is a social science that matters - because it makes a difference.' Stewart Clegg, University of Technology, Sydney
'... fascinating ... Do read this book.' Financial Express
Megaprojects and Risk provides the first detailed examination of the phenomenon of megaprojects. It is a fascinating account of how the promoters of multi-billion dollar megaprojects systematically and self-servingly misinform parliaments, the public and the media in order to get projects approved and built. It shows, in unusual depth, how the formula for approval is an unhealthy cocktail of underestimated costs, overestimated revenues, undervalued environmental impacts and overvalued economic development effects. This results in projects that are extremely risky, but where the risk is concealed from MPs, taxpayers and investors. The authors not only explore the problems but also suggest practical solutions drawing on theory, experience and hard, scientific evidence from the several hundred projects in twenty nations and five continents that illustrate the book. Accessibly written, it will be the standard reference for students, scholars, planners, economists, auditors, politicians and interested citizens for many years to come.
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