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This chapter examines megaproject design and planning in two “shrinking cities” – Philadelphia, PA and Detroit, MI – and concludes that megaproject “metastasis,” or…
This chapter examines megaproject design and planning in two “shrinking cities” – Philadelphia, PA and Detroit, MI – and concludes that megaproject “metastasis,” or repeated expansions into surrounding urban fabrics, is promoting the reduction of downtown into a series of self-contained enclaves. While political coalitions are constructing megaprojects, or large public works and/or single buildings, in cities around the world, in the United States, single-building megaprojects motivated by “growth coalitions” of public and private development actors have proliferated in downtowns since 1990. The urban design impacts of these megaprojects on the surrounding urban fabric have been little studied. Data on the institutional history, physical expansion, and relationship of the megaprojects to the urban fabric is combined with a qualitative analysis of megaproject theory and its application to the American condition, as well as to the political economy of development in American shrinking cities. The chapter concludes that megaprojects such as convention centers and casinos tend to expand inexorably once they are introduced into the American downtown. This metastasis results in the destruction of existing older buildings and street networks, the consolidation of street blocks into ever-larger superblocks, and the eventual physical restructuring of downtowns into enclaves of older fabric amidst clusters of megaproject superblocks. Applying Jacobs’ (1992) theory of “moral hybrids” between “commerce and politics” to megaproject metastasis, the chapter argues that while megaprojects may be inevitable in American downtowns, they should be sited away from active, small-scale urban fabrics to reduce the negative impacts of future metastases. The chapter takes a design-oriented perspective on a phenomenon that is almost always understood from a political economy perspective alone. Megaprojects are significant physical entities, and the chapter clarifies their physical impacts on the urban fabric while indicating urban design policy directions to reduce these impacts in future.
The aim of this book is to understand the causes and consequences of new scales and forms of territorial and spatial restructuring in a context of accelerated globalization by focusing on a diverse array of urban megaproject developments that, in various forms and with various objectives, are transforming the global urban landscape at the outset of the 21st century. The contributions to this volume explore the architectural design, planning, management, financing, and impact of urban megaprojects, as well as the social actors and innovations driving them. The contributions also articulate the various socioeconomic, political, and cultural causes and consequences of UMP development, thus providing a context to understand the reconfiguration of urban spaces in the new millennium.
The chapters by Joo, Gerardo del Cerro Santamaría, and Bunnell have shown that UMPs go beyond the local scale regarding development, implementation, and consequences. In fact, as they argue the projects in South Korea, Bilbao, and Kuala Lumpur obey a logic of reterritorialization à la Brenner, whereby the regional or national state actively participates in urban development by designing urban policies and projects which, in turn, exhibit political, economic, and visual dimensions going beyond the frontiers of the urban realm. This tendency has implications for the role of local politics in UMPs. Local political conditions (e.g., a housing shortage or a desire for global visibility) play a prominent role in the implementation of UMPs, as shown by the Bundang and Ilsan new towns in South Korea as well as Bunnell´s recounting of the reimagining of Kuala Lumpur. In Korea, strong central government control over the real estate market led to addressing the housing shortage and preventing real estate speculation; the chronic housing shortage, with the increased economic power of individuals, resulted in distinctive advance-sale and dual-pricing systems for new apartment units. The huge unmet housing demand in Korea during relative economic prosperity quickly filled Bundang and Ilsan’s housing units with new residents, contributing to the new towns’ successful outcomes.
This chapter discusses the combination of structure plans and urban megaprojects. It shows the characteristics and shortcomings of this combination in different urban…
This chapter discusses the combination of structure plans and urban megaprojects. It shows the characteristics and shortcomings of this combination in different urban contexts, in Western as well as in emerging countries. The chapter draws on case studies of megaprojects and urban planning processes in different cities: Abu Dhabi, Milan, and others. This chapter suggests that the tensions between branded megaprojects and structure plans are not due only to economic, planning, and political constraints. The publicly stated rationale of this combination is to trigger and harness the real estate market in order not only to create private revenue, but also to contribute to the overall city development. In many cases, this rationale induced significant changes not only in terms of architectural design and financial arrangements of individual projects, but also in terms of the urban structure. Reflecting over current global trends in urban development, these findings seem relevant both for reconsidering the roles of architectural branding and the weakening of large-scale urban planning devices in Western cities and for allowing emerging countries to learn from past experiences in this field.
The purpose of the chapter is twofold. First, it discusses the causes and characteristics of the current proliferation of rail station area redevelopment megaprojects…
The purpose of the chapter is twofold. First, it discusses the causes and characteristics of the current proliferation of rail station area redevelopment megaprojects around the globe, revealing them to be an important subset of the new generation of megaprojects discussed in this volume. Second, it offers a detailed and timely account of recent struggles surrounding “Stuttgart 21,” a massive, hugely controversial rail station redevelopment megaproject in Southern Germany, drawing lessons from the controversy over Stuttgart 21 for urban megaprojects more generally. This study is a qualitative case study analysis that involved interviews and document analysis. The experience of “Stuttgart 21” validates previous criticisms of megaprojects regarding transparency and public accountability in decision-making, environmental challenges, and cost-overruns. The political conflicts over “Stuttgart 21” are intimately tied to fundamental disagreements over future urban development and transportation policy, the costs and benefits of multibillion Euro megaprojects, and related democratic decision-making procedures. Rail stations emerge as an important, as-of-yet underexplored subset of urban megaprojects. Rail stations, especially those serving new high-speed rail corridors, are crucial development nodes within complex postindustrial urban–regional restructuring processes. But they also have a distinct character and historical identity. As the mass protests in Stuttgart show, they also clearly serve important identification functions in citizens’ lives.
This chapter looks at the changing politics of urban redevelopment in a politically divided democratic regime following the end of state socialism in 1989. It contrasts…
This chapter looks at the changing politics of urban redevelopment in a politically divided democratic regime following the end of state socialism in 1989. It contrasts the emergence of two cultural institutions of national importance, the Palace of Arts and the National Theatre, as part of a megaproject in Budapest. They emerged almost at the same time as part of the Millennium City Center, a large-scale urban redevelopment project, but have come to stand for two radically opposed worlds dividing the nation and pitting against each other – the cosmopolitans and the nationalists. The research design is that of incorporated comparison; the two case studies are embedded in the analysis of the larger redevelopment project. The study mixes primary and secondary sources; draws on interviews, extensive discussions with architects and planners, as well as an analysis of planning documents, expert reports, and media coverage. It describes the dynamics of private–public partnerships in urban politics pointing to the changing role of the post-socialist state and the new power relations among the various groups involved in urban development in a newly democratizing regime. On the one hand, the analysis shows how local and national-scale political fights make sense from a larger political–economic perspective of waterfront regeneration; on the other, it argues that party politics in politically divided regimes have serious implications on the processes of large-scale urban development, ultimately making them even more under-determined than suggested by the literature. The chapter breaks the assumed unity of the state in studies of urban megaprojects and demonstrates the usefulness of both a scalar analysis and that of the changing political content of the state, which ultimately account for much of the variation in this global genre.
This chapter explores the role of iconic architecture in the development and promotion of urban megaprojects (UMPs) in globalizing cities. Iconic architecture is defined…
This chapter explores the role of iconic architecture in the development and promotion of urban megaprojects (UMPs) in globalizing cities. Iconic architecture is defined in terms of fame and aesthetic/symbolic significance. The argument is framed within the concept of the culture-ideology of consumerism. While the focus is on two case studies – the grands projets in Paris and UMPs in major Chinese cities since the 1980s – the chapter seeks to demonstrate the increasing importance of iconic architecture for UMPs around the world. The chapter utilizes official sources, scholarly research, and reports in the mass media to support the arguments, all within the context of a theoretical framework developed over the last two decades and widely published by the author, to explain how capitalist globalization works. Within the context of the culture-ideology of consumerism, the widely accepted rationale for capitalist globalization, the production and marketing of what has been increasingly identified as iconic architecture is the main route to achieving the profits – financial, political, and cultural – deemed necessary for the success of UMPs all over the world. The chapter presents the first available analysis of the key role of the transnational capitalist class in the production and marketing of iconic architecture in urban megaprojects, thereby offering a systemic explanation of the growth and characteristics of urban megaprojects in the era of capitalist globalization.
Megaprojects are typically very expensive public-centred projects that leave little space for any mismanagement or deficient planning, which could affect the project…
Megaprojects are typically very expensive public-centred projects that leave little space for any mismanagement or deficient planning, which could affect the project adversely. The Last Planner™ System (LPS) is a lean construction planning and control tool that functions to reduce waste and increase performance. Given the benefits, the application of the LPS in megaprojects is still scarce, especially in Malaysia. Hence, this study aims to compare the current production planning, monitoring and review practices in a megaproject with the LPS in order to explore the possibilities of adapting the LPS to the current practices.
This longitudinal case-based study has first explored the current practices implemented in an infrastructure megaproject, which is an urban rapid transit (URT) project, which was then compared to the standard LPS practices. The case study has adopted several research methods such as observation, interview and document review.
Findings from the study highlight that the current production planning, monitoring and review practices in the URT project mostly differs from the standard LPS practices with only slight similarities found in the major planning phases. The comparative study, which based on five reference points through master, phase, look-ahead, weekly work plan and measure, and learning has resulted in several key elements, representative of the different planning phases, such as collaborative programming, reverse planning, reliability, dependability and continuous learning.
This study provides an alternative perspective to rail planners, as well as other types of project planners in considering the use of the LPS to enhance the quality of planning, monitoring and review in projects. The framework that highlights the core values and key elements for the related planning phases enables project teams with no lean background to partially adapt their current practices to the LPS with minimal disruption.
This study first contributes to the body of knowledge, where limited study was found comparing and contrasting current production planning practices against the LPS, particularly in rail-based megaproject. The results from the comparison are the key elements representing each of the planning phases that was rooted back to the core values (teamwork, involvement and collaboration, communication and transparency, and continuous improvement) necessary to enhance the current practices.
A vast proportion of global megaprojects have not performed up to the expectations of their stakeholders. A failed megaproject has the potential even to derail the economy…
A vast proportion of global megaprojects have not performed up to the expectations of their stakeholders. A failed megaproject has the potential even to derail the economy of a country where it was implemented. Stakeholders must, therefore, ensure that they do not invest in megaprojects that are bound to fail. But, how can stakeholders consistently identify such megaprojects? This paper develops a framework for a metric that can help stakeholders measure the readiness of a megaproject.
A comprehensive literature review identified 19 critical success factors of megaprojects. These success factors were integrated into a fuzzy-based model to develop the megaproject readiness metric. An assessment team studied the levels of presence and importance of these success factors in a candidate megaproject to derive its readiness.
The readiness-based model provides stakeholders valuable insights into the strong and weak areas of a megaproject. It can help stakeholders prioritize and systematically eliminate the identified weaknesses and improve megaproject readiness. While the model was tested on a metro rail megaproject, it can be used on any megaproject across domains.
This paper adopts the concept of readiness for the domain of megaprojects. Besides the readiness measurement framework, a vital contribution of this research is its application to a real-life case. Future research can include more granular success factors to improve the estimate of megaproject readiness.
This chapter explores how architecture is used as a signifier in the development and promotion of urban megaprojects (UMPs). It argues that these projects rely on…
This chapter explores how architecture is used as a signifier in the development and promotion of urban megaprojects (UMPs). It argues that these projects rely on architecture to gain visibility. First, UMPs need to be highly visible in order to justify their exceptional status and second, they have to be visibly new and different in order to initiate the desired symbolic transformations with which they are attributed. Drawing on the case studies of HafenCity in Hamburg and Donau City in Vienna the chapter traces the logics of using architecture as a signifier and means of legitimizing the UMP. Data on the planning history of the two case studies, their administrative and institutional frameworks and the overall urban development strategies is combined with a qualitative text and image centered analysis of marketing material, planning documents, and press articles. The discussion shows how visibility is achieved by very different means. The question of how to distinguish the UMP from other projects and of how to make it uniquely identified with the particular city guides the debate in both cases. However, the lines of argument are not predictable or easily comparable from city to city and “global architecture” emerges as a contradictory and relative concept. Based on a succinct review of the related literature the chapter disputes the alleged uniformity of UMPs and argues for a meaning and discourse-oriented approach to the analysis of architecture as vehicle of urban change and political legitimation.