Overcoming lock-in: Instruments for value creation and assessment early in the infrastructure planning process

Niels Heeres, Taede Tillema, Jos Arts

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

4 Citaten (Scopus)


Transport infrastructure plays a vital role in the socio-economic development of regions as it facilitates accessibility between spatial functions, within and between regions (Van Wee et al., 2013; Wegener and Fürst, 2004). However, the development of (new) infrastructure proves to be difficult because of conflicting interests, scarce space, complex environmental issues, dynamics in economy and land-use, changing roles of (national) government and (local) public resistance. Because of the considerable impacts the development of transport infrastructure may have, it is traditionally subject to extensive ex ante evaluation of environmental, social and economic impacts by instruments such as Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Social Impact Assessment (SIA), Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA). These evaluation instruments play an important role in delivering sustainable outcomes in infrastructure planning. In practice, however, there is often much criticism on assessments for infrastructure development being too lengthy, too costly and the quality of resulting project studies is often poor (Arts, 2007; Arts and Niekerk, 2010; Arts et al., 2012; Runhaar et al., 2013). Causes are the content of impact assessment reports (too much detail, info-overload), procedure (complex regulations) and process (financing, decision making and management of projects), all relating to the issue of dealing with uncertainty intrinsic to planning (a culture of hedging risks). More specifically, an important reason for this cumbersome practice of infrastructure planning is so-called ‘lockin’, which refers to the over-commitment to suboptimal policies as a consequence of path dependency (Cantarelli et al., 2010; Priemus and Van Wee, 2013; Elverding, 2008). Currently, transport infrastructure and spatial development are usually planned in different silos, by different authorities in different institutional settings. In infrastructure planning, government agencies are usually responsible for only a certain infrastructure mode - road, water, rail, etc. - therefore they usually develop also projects with a limited, locked-in scope. However, development of transport infrastructure is usually done in situations characterized by strongly interrelated land use functions and interdependent, but fragmented public actors, which calls for more integrated planning.

Originele taal-2English
TitelPlace-Based Evaluation for Integrated Land-Use Management
RedacteurenJohan Woltjer, Ernest Alexander, Angela Hull, Matthias Ruth
Plaats van productieAldershot
UitgeverijAshgate Publishing
Aantal pagina's23
ISBN van elektronische versie9781472445490
ISBN van geprinte versie9781472445483
StatusPublished - 2015

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