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October 11, 2006

Design by Deception

The Politics of Megaproject Approval

HDM.gifHarvard Design Magazine
By Bent Flyvbjerg

This article is a must-read for those who are trying to make sense of the politicians, government agencies and developers who talk out of both sides of their mouths (usually at the same time).

Which large projects get built? My research associates and I found it isn't necessarily the best ones, but instead those for which proponents best succeed in designing—deliberately or not—a fantasy world of underestimated costs, overestimated revenues, overvalued local development effects, and underestimated environmental impacts. Project approval in most cases depended on these factors.
Many project proponents don't hesitate to use this approach, even if it means misleading lawmakers, the public, and the media about the true costs and benefits of projects. This results is an inverted Darwinism—an unhealthy "survival of the unfittest"—for large public works and other construction projects.

article (PDF)

NoLandGrab: Sounds like a blueprint for the approval process for Bruce Ratner's Atlantic Yards proposal.

Posted by lumi at October 11, 2006 9:44 AM