Megaprojects, Affected communities and sustainability decision making

Phelan, Anna & Dawes, Les (2013) Megaprojects, Affected communities and sustainability decision making. In Sustainable Engineering Society (SENG) 2013 Conference: Looking back...looking forward, Engineers Australia, National Convention Centre, Canberra, Australia, pp. 42-51.

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Increasing scrutiny from the wider community is contributing to a shift towards the delivery and operation of major projects that meets and maintains the sustainability priorities of the community. This is especially significant for large economic projects which have a global track record of social benefit shortfalls, cost overruns, and underestimation of risks. Major industrial and infrastructure projects that cost more than US$1 billion are typically called mega-projects. Globally, investment in mega-projects has exceeded $10 trillion in the last ten years. With so many projects in the pipeline -and many taking place in emerging economies – the effectiveness of the sustainability decision making process is particularly important.

The purpose of this paper is to examine how the existing sustainability decision making processes and strategies address the potential challenges facing communities affected by mega-projects. It highlights issues with current operational level approaches to social sustainability assessment at the project level, and argues that to improve accountability and transparency of project outcomes, positive externalities that flow from goods and services provided by the social and cultural systems of the community must be incorporated into decision making.

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ID Code: 70081
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: sustainability, mega-projects, social systems, communities
ISBN: 9781922107107
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (050000) > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND MANAGEMENT (050200) > Environmental Management (050205)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING (090700)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Earth, Environmental & Biological Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Please consult the authors
Deposited On: 10 Apr 2014 22:38
Last Modified: 14 Apr 2014 20:14

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