|Ph.D Student||Armon-Zur Zurit|
|Subject||The Public Interest in Transportation Infrastructure|
Development through Public-Private-Partnerships:
A Case Study of the Jerusalem
|Department||Department of Architecture and Town Planning||Supervisor||Professor Pnina Plaut|
|Full Thesis text - in Hebrew|
Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) are well-recognized models for the provision of public infrastructure around the globe during the past 30 years. Various models for public-private partnerships exist, differing by the division of risk between public sector (state) and private sector (concessioner). The DFBOT (Design Finance Build Operate Transfer) model, better known in its shorter version - BOT - is the most complex model, wherein most construction risks are imposed on the private sector. On one hand, private sector participation eases the pressure on public budgets in the short term and optimizes construction procedures. On the other hand, the transfer of traditional public responsibilities to private interests often leads to friction between state and concessionaire and interferes with projects' completion. Few studies of Public-Private Partnerships focus on social and public issues. Even fewer have studied the effect of the transfer of critical public responsibilities to private hands on the public interest.
The research aims were twofold: 1) To develop a systematic process for public interest analysis in transportation projects constructed through Public Private Partnerships; 2).To implement this process in an in-depth case study of the Jerusalem Light Rail Transit (LRT). Since the term 'Public Interest' is obscure, a 'Dynamic-Public-Interest' model was developed, grounded in the normative and Utilitarian-consequential theoretical philosophies of government, public policy and law.
Based on Grounded Theory, one of several qualitative research methods, the Content Analysis method was applied to relevant documents regarding the planning and construction of the Jerusalem LRT. The information sources analyzed in light of the 'Dynamic Public Interest Model' included planning documents, minutes of planning committee meetings, minutes of Knesset [Israel's parliament] committee meetings, state and city comptrollers' reports, statutory objections, newspaper reports and articles, and in-depth interviews with public-sector decision-makers.
The conclusions of the study are that: 1) Although decision makers' intent was to act on behalf of the normative public interest, the practical process of planning and construction in fact fulfilled the utilitarian-consequential public interest. 2) Many objections to the project and delays in progress, which interpreted into a major increase in budget, occurred as a result of ignored interests of different sectors. A comprehensive mapping of the public interest during the planning process would have produced a more accurate time and cost estimation of the specific alternative of route. The public interest would have been better served if all economic implications were taken into account.
The current study contributes to the field of social and public interests in the planning of transportation projects with private-sector involvement. It contributes to theoretical concepts of public interest as well as to the practical implementation of public interest mapping during project planning assessment. The research provides a basis for future studies that could establish the proposed model for public interest analysis in transportation projects and compare different types of public-private partnerships with the scope of public interest protection.