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Title: Public works policy in Portugal: a case study in unsustainability
Author: Melo, João Joanaz de
Keywords: Public works
Environmental impact assessment
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: Universidade Lusíada
Abstract: Portugal has had a strong public works policy for centuries. In recent years, the largest environmental conflicts were focused precisely on public works. Two case studies are hereby examined. The third crossing of the Tagus at Lisbon should support the high-speed rail link between Lisbon and Madrid, plus suburban and heavy cargo trains; recently, the Government decided to add a road. But Lisbonalready suffers from too much traffic and air pollution; and the cost is too high,because project-finance is not viable; instead, more and better public transportationis needed. A policy for large dams aims to create 12 new dams, supposedly to reduce GHG emissions and improve the balance of the electric network; unfortunately, those dams will hinder regional development in poor regions, destroy the last major wild rivers in Portugal and a number of social infrastructures; they would generate 2 TWh/year of electricity, about 1% of energy demand in Portugal, at a cost of 3 000 M€; in contrast, the same investment in energy-efficiency projects would save at least 8 TWh/year. In both cases, the decision process was aprioristic and disregarding of public opinion. In short, public works in Portugal remain as unsustainable as ever, environmentally, socially and economically.
Description: International Journal of Engineering and Industrial Management, nº 1, p. 195-208
ISSN: 1647-578X
Appears in Collections:FCT: DCEA - Artigos em revista internacional com arbitragem científica

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