How to Define the Optimal Level of Public-sector Infrastructure Development? A Conceptual Model for Decision-making in Infrastructure Projects

Erwin van der Krabben, Karel Marten, Thomas de Graaff, Piet Rietveld
(2008) Planning, Practice & Research, 23(3), 363-381

DOI Online

Debates with respect to financial problems of public-sector infrastructure development increasingly focus on ways to improve value capturing. Two issues play a crucial role in this debate: how much value can be captured and how can we maximize the value to be captured? In this paper a conceptual model is presented that enables defining the optimal level of public sector infrastructure developmentā€”combining a social and financial perspective. Using the model, it is possible, in principle, to define the maximum level of value capturing. Additionally, the paper provides empirical evidence of the potentials of value capturing in three Dutch case studies. The case studies show that the potential value to be captured as a result of investments in rail infrastructure is substantial, but also that it is unknown whether value capturing would be higher in case of alternative investment levels. It will be argued that the conceptual model might be useful to define the optimal level of investment in accessibility in each case study.