In order to achieve economic development in a country, region or theworld, the relevant authorities must undertake projects, for example,construction of roads, schools, airports, railroads etc. The projectchosen for the discussion here is the road construction project,which was completed five years ago by the county government. Theproject was aimed at improving access to the productive areas on theoutskirts of the city. Furthermore, the road development programimproved the town’s road network and enabled the upgrading offeeder roads in the surrounding areas. The main roads were upgradedto paved standard while the feeder roads were tarmacked.
The expected economic benefits of the road construction projectincluded improving the accessibility to interior areas, minimizingthe cost of transportation, as well as, increasing the economicproductivity of the selected area (Blakely & Leigh, 2013). Theincreased accessibility allowed business to deliver goods andservices at a lower cost. It also increased the people’s ability toaccess hospitals and schools, as well as, creating employmentopportunities. The upgrading of the roads was intended to reduce thetravel time, maintenance costs, pollution and accidents in the area.As a result, the economic productivity in the area due to reducedoperating costs brought about economic development.
ProjectDevelopment Process and Economic Planning Challenges
The Road Development Program was initiated by evaluating the existingtransportation needs in the area. Then, the project team set out thedesired transportation services after the project is completed. Theassessment of these issues enabled the transport engineers to developa set of alternatives by involving the public. The best option thatmet the established evaluation criteria was then selected as theeconomic development project for that area. In comparison with theeconomic planning challenges discussed in Blakely and Leigh text, itwas established that corruption, inadequately skilled workers, andfailure to fully involve the public in the project were the keychallenges to any economic development project (Blakely & Leigh,2013).
The road construction project also involved urban planners in orderto balance the economic, social and environmental factors in the townoutskirts. With the increasing need for modernity and aesthetics, thelocal authorities were required to pay a higher amount for theproject for its sophisticated design. The project experienced thetransition in local planning in various ways including response toclimate change and adherence to sustainability principles (Blakely &Leigh, 2013). In the planning stage, the team laid more emphasis onthe future orientation of the project than the current economicbenefits that came with the successful implementation of the project.They expanded the existing roads while leaving adequate road reservesfor future expansion thereby adhering to the economic sustainabilityprinciples.
EconomicSustainability and Stakeholder Participation
Based on the understanding of McDonald’s text, I think the successof the road project showed us the program had been evaluated beforeit was implemented. First, the transport engineers conducted aprocess evaluation that sought to identify the mechanistic aspects ofthe construction works. They also conducted an impact evaluation toidentify how the project would benefit the society once it wasimplemented (McDonald, 2016). As stated earlier, the road developmentproject involved leaving adequate road reserves for future expansion,as well as, the preservation of trees, streams and waterfronts.Disruption of the natural vegetation and the wildlife was minimal,and this enhanced prospects of community sustainability since thearea’s current needs were met without compromising with thetransportation requirements of the future generations.
The configuration of the public, private and non-profit sectors wereinstrumental in making the road construction project a reality(Blakely & Leigh, 2013). The general public and the privatecompanies were allowed to give their views during project briefdevelopment stage. This made it possible for their opinions to beintegrated into the road design before it was constructed. It isnotable that all the key stakeholders of the project gave theirfeedback only during the planning stage before the design commenced.Any comments on the plans were limited to minimize changes, whichwould have proven costly to the county government. However, thepublic participation and close consultation with the private entitiesin the area during the planning stage allowed the smoothimplementation of the project.
Blakely, E. J. & Leigh, N. G. (2013). Planning local economicdevelopment: theory and practice. London: SAGE.
McDonald, O. (2016). Collaborative Stewardship: An AnalyticalApproach to Improving Quality of Life in Communities. London:Grace House Publishing.