Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Infrastructure, planning and the command of time

Marshall, Tim and Cowell, Richard ORCID: 2016. Infrastructure, planning and the command of time. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 34 (8) , pp. 1843-1866. 10.1177/0263774X16642768

[thumbnail of R Cowell infrastructure decision post-print version.pdf]
PDF - Accepted Post-Print Version
Download (259kB) | Preview


Governments in many countries have sought to accelerate the time taken to make decisions on major infrastructure projects, citing problems of ‘delay’. Despite this, rarely has the time variable been given careful empirical or conceptual attention in decisionmaking generally, or in infrastructure decision-making specifically. This paper addresses this deficit by analysing decision-making on two categories of major infrastructure in the UK – transport and electricity generation – seeking both to generate better evidence of the changes to decision times in recent decades, and to generate insights from treating time as resource and tracking its (re)allocation. We find that reforms introduced since 2008 have done relatively little to alter overall decision times, but that there are marked and revealing changes to the allocation of time between decision-making stages. While public planning processes have their time frames tightly regulated, aspects led by developers (e.g. pre-application discussion) are not; arranging finance can have a bigger effect on project time frames, and central government retains much flexibility to manage the flow of time. Speed-up reforms are also sectorally uneven in their reach. This indicates how arguments for time discipline falter in the face of infrastructure projects that remain profoundly politicised.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Infrastructure planning, time, energy, transport infrastructure, planning reform
Additional Information: Pdf uploaded in accordance with publisher's policy at (accessed 31/03/2016) Released with a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives License (CC BY-NC-ND)
Publisher: SAGE Publications (UK and US)
ISSN: 0263-774X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 1 January 2016
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2023 04:34

Citation Data

Cited 11 times in Scopus. View in Scopus. Powered By Scopus® Data

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics