Project Management Institute

The Past and Present of Megaprojects

Megaprojects are "large-scale, complex ventures that typically cost US$1 billion or more, take many years to develop and build, involve multiple public and private stakeholders, are transformational, and impact millions of people" (Flyvbjerg, 2017, p. 2). While megaprojects are often differentiated by the amount of their capital investment, they are also characterized in other ways. For example, Zhai, Xin, and Cheng (2009, p. 99) state that megaprojects exhibit "extreme complexity, substantial risks, long duration and extensive impact on the community, economy, technological development, and environment of the region or even the whole country." On the other hand, taking a sociological perspective, Gellert and Lynch (2003, pp. 15-16) consider megaprojects as 'displacements' by stating that megaprojects are "projects which transform landscapes rapidly, intentionally, and profoundly in very visible ways, and require coordinated applications of capital and state power." Indeed, looking at society through its megaprojects would reveal its ambitions, problems, as well as its future outlooks.
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