Measuring the Value of Infrastructure
In the appraisal of infrastructure projects, the economic dimension is dominant. Yet, the economic appraisal methods applied are often limited to the marginal impact of an individual project. They do not capture the system wide effects for the specific infrastructure network, nor the cross-sector system-of-system effects. Moreover, as uncertainty is often treated cursorily, the process tends to become overly precise in an early phase of planning, focusing on a specific infrastructure solution while neglecting potentially promising alternatives. Which methods are available to remedy these flaws? And which appraisal methods may allow us to include non-economic value created by infrastructure in a fair and transparent way? It is evident that many non-economic values are at stake, such as social and cultural values and moral values. How can these values be fairly weighted in appraisals of infrastructure projects? The value systems of the past are deeply embedded in the infrastructure that supports society today. Can we “read” and characterize these embedded values? And how can the value awareness thus raised be employed to design “better” infrastructure?