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Socio-ecological risks management dynamic simulation in megaproject development of the Edinburgh Tram Network

Prince Boateng (Department of Building Technology, Faculty of Built and Natural Environment, Koforidua Technical University, Koforidua, Ghana)
Temitope Omotayo (School of Built Environment, Engineering and Computing, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, UK)
Temidayo Osunsanmi (Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh, UK)
Damilola Ekundayo (School of Engineering and the Built Environment, Birmingham City University – City Centre Campus, Birmingham, UK)

International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation

ISSN: 2398-4708

Article publication date: 30 August 2022




The inherent risks and their interactive impacts in megaproject development have been found in numerous cases worldwide. Although risk management standards have been recommended for the best practice in engineering construction projects, there is still a lack of systematic approaches to describing the interactions. Interactions such as social, technical, economic, ecological and political (STEEP) risks have complex and dynamic implications for megaproject construction. For a better understanding and effective management of megaprojects such as the Edinburgh Tram project, the dynamic interaction of concomitant risks must be studied.


A systems dynamic methodology was adopted following the comprehensive literature review. Documentary data were gathered from the case study on Tram Network Project in Edinburgh.


A casual loop of typical evolution of key indicators of risks was then developed. A hypothesised model of social and ecological (SE) risks was derived using the system dynamics (SD) modelling technique. The model was set up following British Standards on risk management to provide a generic tool for risk management in megaproject development. The study reveals that cost and time overruns at the developmental stage of the case project are caused mainly by the effects of interactions of risk factors from the external macro project environment on a timely basis.


This article presented a model for simulating the socio-ecological risk confronting the management and construction of megaprojects. The use of SD provided the opportunity to explain the nature of all risks, particularly the SE risks in the past stages of project development.



The research is funded by the doctoral research scheme in the Institute for Building and Urban Design in the School of the Built Environment at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, the United Kingdom. The study is also a part of initiatives of the megaproject research project funded by the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) through COST Action TU1003, which aims at the Effective Design and Delivery Megaprojects in the European Union. The European Cooperation of Science Foundation provides the COST Office through a European Commission contract. The Council of European Union provides the COST Secretariat. Professor Naomi Brookes chairs the action in the School of Civil Engineering at the University of Leeds, and there are participants from over 19 countries across Europe.


Boateng, P., Omotayo, T., Osunsanmi, T. and Ekundayo, D. (2022), "Socio-ecological risks management dynamic simulation in megaproject development of the Edinburgh Tram Network", International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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