4,564 research outputs found

    Why Mass Media Matter to Planning Research: The Case of Megaprojects

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    This article asks how planning scholarship may effectively gain impact in planning practice through media exposure. In liberal democracies the public sphere is dominated by mass media. Therefore, working with such media is a prerequisite for effective public impact of planning research. Using the example of megaproject planning, it is illustrated how so-called "phronetic planning research," which explicitly incorporates in its methodology active and strategic collaboration with media, may be helpful in generating change in planning practice via the public sphere. Main lessons learned are: (1) Working with mass media is an extremely cost-effective way to increase the impact of planning scholarship on practice; (2) Recent developments in information technology and social media have made impact via mass media even more effective; (3) Research on "tension points," i.e., points of potential conflict, are particularly interesting to media and the public, and are especially likely to generate change in practice; and (4) Tension points bite back; planning researchers should be prepared for, but not afraid of, this

    From Nobel Prize to Project Management: Getting Risks Right

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    A major source of risk in project management is inaccurate forecasts of project costs, demand, and other impacts. The paper presents a promising new approach to mitigating such risk, based on theories of decision making under uncertainty which won the 2002 Nobel prize in economics. First, the paper documents inaccuracy and risk in project management. Second, it explains inaccuracy in terms of optimism bias and strategic misrepresentation. Third, the theoretical basis is presented for a promising new method called "reference class forecasting," which achieves accuracy by basing forecasts on actual performance in a reference class of comparable projects and thereby bypassing both optimism bias and strategic misrepresentation. Fourth, the paper presents the first instance of practical reference class forecasting, which concerns cost forecasts for large transportation infrastructure projects. Finally, potentials for and barriers to reference class forecasting are assessed.Comment: arXiv admin note: text overlap with arXiv:1302.254

    Planning Fallacy or Hiding Hand: Which Is the Better Explanation?

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    This paper asks and answers the question of whether Kahneman's planning fallacy or Hirschman's Hiding Hand best explain performance in capital investment projects. I agree with my critics that the Hiding Hand exists, i.e., sometimes benefit overruns outweigh cost overruns in project planning and delivery. Specifically, I show this happens in one fifth of projects, based on the best and largest dataset that exists. But that was not the main question I set out to answer. My main question was whether the Hiding Hand is "typical," as claimed by Hirschman. I show this is not the case, with 80 percent of projects not displaying Hiding Hand behavior. Finally, I agree it would be important to better understand the circumstances where the Hiding Hand actually works. However, if you want to understand how projects "typically" work, as Hirschman said he did, then the theories of the planning fallacy, optimism bias, and strategic misrepresentation - according to which cost overruns and benefit shortfalls are the norm - will serve you significantly better than the principle of the Hiding Hand. The latter will lead you astray, because it is a special case instead of a typical one

    How Planners Deal with Uncomfortable Knowledge: The Dubious Ethics of the American Planning Association

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    With a point of departure in the concept "uncomfortable knowledge," this article presents a case study of how the American Planning Association (APA) deals with such knowledge. APA was found to actively suppress publicity of malpractice concerns and bad planning in order to sustain a boosterish image of planning. In the process, APA appeared to disregard and violate APA's own Code of Ethics. APA justified its actions with a need to protect APA members' interests, seen as preventing planning and planners from being presented in public in a bad light. The current article argues that it is in members' interest to have malpractice critiqued and reduced, and that this best happens by exposing malpractice, not by denying or diverting attention from it as APA did in this case. Professions, organizations, and societies that stifle critique tend to degenerate and become socially and politically irrelevant "zombie institutions." The article asks whether such degeneration has set in for APA and planning. Finally, it is concluded that more debate about APA's ethics and actions is needed for improving planning practice. Nine key questions are presented to constructively stimulate such debate.Comment: Flyvbjerg, Bent, 2013, "How Planners Deal with Uncomfortable Knowledge: The Dubious Ethics of the American Planning Association," Citie
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