Digging through the Heart of Reunified Berlin: Unbundling the Decision-Making Process for the Tiergarten-Tunnel Mega-Project

All authors:
Deike, P.
Host organisation: CoE London, UK
Country: Germany
Publication year: 2010
Published in:
European Journal of Transport and Infrastructure Research, Issue 10 (1), pp. 89-102, 2010
Research theme: Policy and Planning
mega-projects, Berlin, rail, urban restructuring
Research article
The Berlin Tiergarten tunnel project (VZB) consisted of a joint planning approval procedure for one road and several rail tunnels (inter-city, metro rail and city subway). The tunnels lead through the heart of re-unified Berlin, starting at the site of the new Central Railway Station, cutting underneath the River Spree and the new Federal government quarter, as well the Tiergarten Park and the new entertainment complexes at Potsdamer Platz. This paper traces the decision-making processes for this crucial post-Berlin Wall mega-project, and raises important questions regarding optimistic forecasts, cost overruns, the role of prestige in large infrastructure projects, and the limits of public review procedures. It provides particular insights into a complex case where multiple urban transport mega-projects were bundled together for joint approval and implementation.
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