Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation

Project Risks: Actions Around Uncertainty in Urban Planning and Infrastructure Development

Abstract : ABSTRACT Those tasked with the planning and construction of infrastructure and development operations face an increasingly uncertain context in which they must address risks across a number of different fields. These range from the environmental and archaeological to the social, political and financial. As a consequence, the formal and informal practices of stakeholders often incorporate projections of risk and opportunity. Project Risks analyzes this paradigm shift. It reviews the origin and nature of these uncertainties, and the practices implemented by the actors to mitigate or take advantage of them. Paradoxically, these practices generate new risks and power relations that are not compatible with the collaborative planning model. These paradoxes force the rethinking of practices such as project territorialization, risk taking in planning and the responsibility of actors, as well as the societal and political choices that must be made between the realization of projects and the protection of the environment. TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction xi Chapter 1. The Uncertain Environment of Project Planning and Production Process 1 1.1. A risk society? 1 1.2. Globalization and uncertainty 3 1.3. The recent economic and financial crisis context 4 1.3.1. Crisis and mobility practices 4 1.3.2. A wait-and-see demand from households 4 1.3.3. The volatility of business locations 5 1.3.4. The impact of the crisis on the phasing of infrastructure projects 6 1.3.5. Phasing and flexibility of urban projects 7 1.3.6. For more flexibility, the project can precede the plan 7 1.3.7. The use of private financing by public–private partnerships 8 1.4. Environmental uncertainty 16 1.5. The need for stakeholders in the decision-making process to have access to unlimited information 17 1.6. The difficulty of making reliable forecasts for planning development projects 22 1.7. Multi-scalar and multi-objective planning 23 1.8. Participatory decision-making process and unpredictability 25 1.9. The social, environmental, and economic performance of the companies that carry out the projects 26 1.10. Conclusion 27 Chapter 2. How Can We Define Uncertainties and Risks? Risk from a Theoretical Point of View 29 2.1. Risks, uncertainties, hazards: disciplinary definitions 29 2.1.1. The notions of risk, hazard, and vulnerability in geography 29 2.1.2. The notions of risk, uncertainty, and hazard in project management 31 2.1.3. The notions of risk and uncertainty in economics 34 2.1.4. How does the public or private project owner use the concepts of risk and uncertainty? 35 2.2. Territorialized risks 35 2.3. Risk chains in time and space 36 2.4. “Expert” risk and perceived risk 37 2.5. Risk and opportunity 38 2.6. Uncertainties, risks, and opportunities external to the project 39 2.6.1. Characteristics of events that may impact a project or its social, natural, or economic environment (according to experts) 40 2.6.2. Political risk and opportunity 41 2.6.3. Risk and social opportunities 42 2.6.4. The risk and opportunity related to the choices and behaviors of residents and the economic environment 44 2.6.5. Risk and regulatory opportunity 45 2.6.6. Archeological risk and heritage opportunity 45 2.6.7. Environmental risk 46 2.6.8. Technological risk 47 2.6.9. Natural risk 48 2.6.10. Market risk 49 2.6.11. The risk of force majeure 49 2.7. Internal project risks 50 2.7.1. Construction risk 50 2.7.2. The risk of delay 50 2.7.3. Financial risk 51 2.7.4. Commercial risk 52 2.8. Conclusion 52 Chapter 3. Diachronic Approach to Taking Risks and Uncertainties into Account in Planning, Consultation, Evaluation, Financing, and Project Implementation Practices 55 3.1. Introduction 55 3.2. From the 1970s to the end of the 1980s: only natural and technological risks were addressed by the texts 56 3.2.1. The legal framework for environmental assessment and public participation excluded the concepts of risk and uncertainty 56 3.2.2. Only the concepts of foreseeable natural risk and major accident risk were regulated during the 1980s 61 3.2.3. Risk management still not very formalized as standards 62 3.3. The 1990s: taking into account social uncertainty for major infrastructure projects (transport, energy, etc.) 64 3.3.1. From the late 1980s to the early 1990s: the (para)public project owner managed social uncertainty by increasing public information by keeping control over the design and implementation of the project 64 3.3.2. The 1992 Bianco circular and the 1995 Barnier law allowed the public to participate in the public debate but were not always applied 67 3.4. 1997 to present: financial risk, risk to the project environment, social uncertainty, political risk, and traffic risk are gradually being integrated into the assessment process 69 3.4.1. A progressive and formalized consideration of risks in the evaluation process of infrastructure, development, and urban planning projects 69 3.4.2. The environmental assessment procedure is becoming more demanding and can be a source of risk for public and private project owners 97 3.4.3. A decision-making process driven by texts that seek to limit social and political risks 101 3.4.4. The socio-economic assessment process has integrated risks related to the technical and economic environment since 2005 107 3.5. Conclusion 112 Chapter 4. How do Risks Manifest Themselves in Projects? 113 4.1. Introduction 113 4.2. Political risk 115 4.2.1. High-speed lines 115 4.2.2. Urban planning projects 122 4.3. The environmental risk 131 4.3.1. The Langon–Pau highway (A65): a risk for vulnerable natural species insufficiently anticipated 131 4.3.2. The non-hazardous waste storage center in Nonant-Le-Pin (Eure): a risk of underground pollution and a health risk 135 4.3.3. The Espace Confluent in Rezé (south of Nantes) or how to take advantage of a polluted urban wasteland 142 4.4. Social risk 145 4.4.1. The Lyon–Turin HSL: a very active cross-border opposition 145 4.4.2. Île Seguin in Boulogne-Billancourt (Île-de-France): years of recourse before mediation 153 4.5. Institutional risk 159 4.6. Archeological risk and heritage enhancement 162 4.7. Interface risks 164 4.8. Financial risk 166 4.8.1. The Perpignan–Figueras HSL: a lack of profitability 166 4.8.2. The Grand Paris Express: from additional charges to additional charges 172 4.8.3. Île Seguin in Boulogne-Billancourt (Île-de-France): the high cost of bearing the cost of land assets 176 4.9. Are there recurrences in terms of the succession of risks and uncertainties from one project to another? 178 4.9.1. Transport infrastructure projects 178 4.9.2. Development and urban planning projects 180 4.10. Conclusion: behind the risk, the actors 181 Chapter 5. Addressing or Taking Advantage of Risks Allows Actors to Build Power Relationships 183 5.1. Introduction 183 5.2. Mastering and using areas of uncertainty in the Sociology of Organizations 184 5.2.1. From the 2000s onward, research has shown that conflict can be seen as an opportunity and can reveal new uncertainties 184 5.2.2. The role of power relationships 185 5.2.3. The relationship between risk, uncertainty, and the interplay of actors 186 5.3. Addressing risk and areas of uncertainty to establish power relationships 188 5.3.1. Formalized anticipation of uncertainties and risks seems to have become a key practice 188 5.3.2. The method for socio-economically evaluating major transport projects is still more territorialized 189 5.3.3. The integrated study-concertation procedure is marked by benchmarks that can facilitate the decision-making process of transport infrastructure for the project owner 190 5.3.4. The contractualization of infrastructure and development projects implies the financial responsibility of the parties and, therefore, encourages them to treat and control risks 192 5.3.5. When the project precedes the plan: to adapt to market fluctuations or residents’ demands 194 5.3.6. Participatory planning of development and urban planning operations 197 5.4. Taking advantage of risk to have a source of power 199 5.4.1. The creation and use of areas of uncertainty by actors to build power relations 200 5.4.2. Actors implementing unpredictable behaviour to create doubt and uncertainty among other actors 211 5.5. Conclusion 220 Chapter 6. The Paradoxes of Project Planning and Management 223 6.1. Introduction 223 6.2. Flexible planning and project management offers opportunities but generates new risks 224 6.2.1. Flexibility of the decision-making, planning and project management process 224 6.2.2. The plasticity of the project and the production of new risks: the example of Météor 228 6.2.3. Flexibility and risks 233 6.3. An inflation of rules that creates additional risks 233 6.3.1. A more precise legal framework for evaluation, consultation, financing, and contractualization 233 6.3.2. More rules and obligations for the private project owner and developer 234 6.3.3. More rules and more opportunities for appeals 235 6.3.4. Risks related to controversies for non-compliance with rules: risk of litigation (sometimes in a chain), risk of delay or termination of the project, risk of additional costs 238 6.3.5. The example of the consequences of the great national debate on the environment on the achievement of the A 65 Langon–Pau highway: litigation, delay, and additional costs 240 6.4. The paradoxes of theoretical reference planning models in relation to contemporary decision-making, planning, and project design practices 245 6.4.1. Reference planning models and their limitations 245 6.4.2. Positioning of contemporary planning and project design modalities in relation to theoretical models 252 6.5. Conclusion 260 Conclusion: Ways Forward for Action 261 Appendix: The Identification, Evaluation, Prioritization and Treatment of Risk by the Project Owner, Developer or Promoter 269 Glossary of Terms 273 References 277 Index 287
Complete list of metadata
Contributor : Geneviève Zembri-Mary Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Monday, December 9, 2019 - 7:45:22 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, March 5, 2020 - 12:06:11 PM




  • HAL Id : hal-02401226, version 1




Geneviève Zembri-Mary. Project Risks: Actions Around Uncertainty in Urban Planning and Infrastructure Development. ISTE ltd et WILEY. ISTE ltd et WILEY, 2019, 978-1-119-67111-4. ⟨hal-02401226⟩



Record views