Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Danish expert investigates cost overruns in Dutch mega projects

24.09.2007
Lying pays off. According to prof.dr. Bent Flyvbjerg of Delft University of Technology, that’s how one can characterize the planning of some mega projects.

In his inaugural speech on Wednesday September 26th, he explains why the costs of large-scale projects, such as High Speed Rail projects, new motorways, and the Channel Tunnel, systematically turn out to be higher than was forecast. In the coming years the Danish professor will focus on cost overruns in major Dutch projects.

Flyvbjerg is an international researcher focusing on cost overruns in mega projects, such as the TGV and the ‘Big Dig’ in Boston. He has found a similar pattern in more than twenty countries: the costs of these projects very often turn out to be higher than was planned, on average more than 30 percent higher. In the Netherlands the HSL-South is a prime example. It has a cost overrun of 45 percent. Flyvbjerg was questioned as an expert by the temporary committee infrastructure projects (Tijdelijke Commissie Infrastructuurprojecten (2004)) which conducted research into the HSL-South and other projects.

Explanations for the systematic cost overruns, are according to Flyvbjerg ungrounded optimism among planners but also strategic motives. The lower the costs presented, the higher the chances of the project actually taking place: ‘lying pays off’. This is called ‘inverted Darwinism’ by the professor, or ‘survival of the unfittest’, because the projects that look best on paper have the largest cost overruns and demand shortfalls.

According to Flyvbjerg, one of the (partial) remedies against cost overruns is reference class forecasting. This is a method with which the costs of a project are estimated by comparing it to similar projects in the past. Flyvbjerg has applied this method to the ‘Zuiderzeelijn’ project. This resulted in a cost estimate that was 40 percent higher than previous estimates. Because of this the project is now being re-evaluated.

In the coming years Flyvbjerg, who is a part-time professor at the faculty of Technology, Policy and Management of Delft University of Technology, will research mega projects in the Netherlands. ‘To my surprise, there is little systematic knowledge about this subject. We do not know if the general conclusions found in other countries apply to the Netherlands. That’s a pity, because the Netherlands are especially interesting in this respect because of the high density of infrastructures.’

Flyvbjerg detects a change in attitude towards mega projects. ‘The realisation that things have to change is sinking in.’ Flyvbjerg receives full support of the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management which finances the chair. In about two to three years, he hopes to present results on Dutch mega projects.

Maarten van der Sanden | alfa
Further information:
http://www.tudelft.nl

More articles from Business and Finance:

nachricht Europe's microtechnology industry is attuned to growth
10.03.2017 | IVAM Fachverband für Mikrotechnik

nachricht Preferential trade agreements enhance global trade at the expense of its resilience
17.02.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Business and Finance >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers shoot for success with simulations of laser pulse-material interactions

29.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Igniting a solar flare in the corona with lower-atmosphere kindling

29.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

As sea level rises, much of Honolulu and Waikiki vulnerable to groundwater inundation

29.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>