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PhD ceremony Mr. G. Verhees: Publiek-private samenwerking: adaptieve planning in theorie en praktijk

When:Th 25-04-2013 at 14:30

PhD ceremony: Mr. G. Verhees, 14.30 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

Dissertation: Publiek-private samenwerking: adaptieve planning in theorie en praktijk

Promotor(s): prof. G. de Roo, prof. E.J.M.M. Arts

Faculty: Spatial Sciences

The essence of this research lies in the exploration of planning theory, connecting this theory to complexity sciences and learning lessons on how to guide large spatial projects in innovative ways. These insights are applied to Public Private Partnerships to bring into the light the possibilities, results and successes of these partnerships pursuing adaptive qualities. In the research three PPP cases have been studied, using a framework for ‘adaptive planning’ developed by Axelrod and Cohen (2000). This involves the following case studies:

•         A2 Maastricht Tunnelling and Motorway (infrastructure and area development; D&C and Development Contract)

•         Waardse Alliance (infrastructure; Alliance Contract)

•         Montaigne Lyceum (school building; DBFMO contract)

It appears that ‘adaptivity’ in each PPP case only partially manifests itself. PPP in actual practice therefore does not always equate to ‘adaptive planning’. In certain phases of the relevant case studies adaptive planning manifests well. For PPP the main conclusions for profiting from adaptive qualities are: A clear division of the roles in the project: the private consortia take initiative, the government selects and the users and special interest groups criticize the plans and


•         Though every project phase starts with a firm basis for exploitation, room for exploration is extensive and exploration is subsequently directed and stimulated through the use of performance criteria in every phase of the life cycle of the project (from design to the maintenance and users phase)

•         Interaction in and between mutually dependent private and public consortia, each of them having their own identity and accountability. Their parent organisations act at ‘arm’s length’. Tendering procedures advance mutual dependency between public and private actors

•         Large spatial and infrastructural projects should be intentionally ‘metaplanned’ (planning of the planning) during their entire life cycle

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