City of Austin, Cap Metro & Lone Star Rail: Dealing with uncomfortable knowledge

COST Commentary: In 2002, Professor Bent Flyvbjerg, University of Oxford, wrote a well researched and often quoted research paper titled: “Understanding Costs in Public Works Projects: Error or Lie?” This paper examines the high probability of very large cost overruns in Public Works Projects including rail transit.

The paper referenced below, “How planners deal with uncomfortable knowledge: The Dubious ethics of the American Planning Association,” by Professor Flyvbjerg discusses a “Denial, Dismissal, Diversion and Displacement”; process which is a parallel to that practiced by the City of Austin, Cap Metro and Lone Star Rail regarding rail transit for the Austin region.

This paper presents a concept and discussion of an organization avoiding reality and truth while attempting to boost its own “high ethics” by taking a normative stand for “participation, transparency, the public interest, and good information” as a ruse to divert the public’s attention from purposeful or incompetent poor performance.

How planners deal with uncomfortable knowledge: The dubious eithis of the American Planning Association

by Bent Flyvbjerg published in Cities, February 2013

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