Megaprojects and risk: an anatomy of ambition

Bent Flyvbjerg, Niels Bruzelius, Werner Rothengatter

Research output: Book/ReportBookResearch


Megaprojects and Risk provides the first detailed examination of the phenomenon of megaprojects. It is an account of how the promoters of multibillion-dollar megaprojects systematically and self-servingly misinform parliaments, the public and the media in order to get projects approved and built. It shows, in unusual depth, how the Machiavellian formula for approval is an unhealthy cocktail of underestimated costs, overestimated revenues, undervalued environmental impacts and overvalued economic development effects. This results in projects that are extremely risky, with huge cost overruns and revenue failures, but where this is concealed from MPs, taxpayers and investors until it is too late. The authors not only explore the problems but also suggest practical solutions drawing on theory and hard, scientific evidence from the several hundred projects in twenty nations that illustrate the book.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationVershina Press
Number of pages219
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • megaprojects
  • risk
  • cost overrun
  • revenue failure
  • benefit shortfall
  • environmental impact assessment
  • socio-economic impact assessment
  • regional development
  • economic development
  • finance
  • organization
  • megaproject organization
  • management
  • privatisation
  • public-private partnership
  • accountability
  • channel tunnel
  • Øresund bridge
  • Great Belt link
  • Fehmarn Belt link


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