the-hidden-cost-of-megaprojects

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the-hidden-cost-of-megaprojects

Postby David Benton » Sun May 07, 2017 1:58 am

How do you build a massive infrastructure project meant to bring Britain into the future… and not destroy the stories about its past? Two new railway lines are trying to figure it out.
http://www.bbc.com/future/story/2017042 ... gaprojects
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Re: the-hidden-cost-of-megaprojects

Postby Semaphore Sam » Sun May 07, 2017 4:40 am

Small projects such as the Ordsall Chord (severing contact with the original Manchester station of the Liverpool-Manchester Railway) are also controversial.
https://www.railengineer.uk/2016/03/25/ ... -progress/
http://www.disused-stations.org.uk/m/ma ... ndex.shtml
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Re: the-hidden-cost-of-megaprojects

Postby philipmartin » Sun May 07, 2017 7:25 am

The nice thing about living in the "new world" is that we don't have a medieval past to protect. Of course I'm joking; lucky not to have treasures to protect.
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Re: the-hidden-cost-of-megaprojects

Postby David Benton » Sun May 07, 2017 8:00 pm

I would think the native Americans would have something to say about that , Philip.
And of course early European settlement dates back a few hundred years now.
but they are probably not going to find a 16th century chamber pot on the Gateway project for example.
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Re: the-hidden-cost-of-megaprojects

Postby philipmartin » Tue May 09, 2017 3:39 am

The artifacts of primitive people don't interest me. if archeologists want to save them, fine; they add to our knowledge. But no primitive society ever built a thirteenth Century cathedral, my idea of a treasure.
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Re: the-hidden-cost-of-megaprojects

Postby SemperFidelis » Tue May 09, 2017 6:15 am

Nope, those primitive people of our past never built anything worth saving:

http://www.ducksters.com/history/native ... cliffs.jpg
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Re: the-hidden-cost-of-megaprojects

Postby philipmartin » Tue May 09, 2017 9:52 am

SemperFidelis wrote:Nope, those primitive people of our past never built anything worth saving:
https://www.nps.gov/nava/index.htm

It looks like Montezuma's castle in Arizona. Amazing, but no comparison with the work of civilized peoples. it looks like a model; an HO train would look right going through it. The ancient city of Petra in Jordan is similar, but more spectacular. That certainly is worth saving. There are a number of YouTube videos on it. Here's one. http://youtu.be/dB7o_83y4aU
Here's a photo of Petra from Wiki.
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Re: the-hidden-cost-of-megaprojects

Postby John_Perkowski » Tue May 09, 2017 1:35 pm

Admin note: A smidge of editing, but otherwise, this topic looks interesting.

I've been to a Pueblo site as well as Petra. Both impress me, in part for the sheer heavy lifting done.
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Re: the-hidden-cost-of-megaprojects

Postby David Benton » Tue May 09, 2017 7:35 pm

I can't recall any cases in New Zealand where rail construction has unearthed any artifacts. Most likely to cause problems would be Urupas(grave sites), but these are known locations , and hopefully steered clear of.
It will be interesting to see if Auckland's underground railway turns up anything interesting, given a lot of the land is reclaimed , and the volcanic nature if the area.
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Re: the-hidden-cost-of-megaprojects

Postby johnthefireman » Wed May 10, 2017 12:54 am

philipmartin wrote:The artifacts of primitive people don't interest me. if archeologists want to save them, fine; they add to our knowledge.


Fair enough, if ancient architecture doesn't interest you, that's a personal preference.

When I lived in the USA I remember being taken to see a snake-shaped burial mound, maybe in Ohio? It was very impressive, beautiful and interesting, and it was 4,000 years old. In Britain we treasure our 4,000 year old burial mounds and other architecture from that era of our ancestors (who were "primitive people"), we preserve and protect them, we study them, and many people go to visit them, in part because we recognise that they are our heritage. In the same way most of us treasure our steam locomotives because they are part of our heritage. What I learned from my US friends was that the dominant culture in the USA does not treasure 4,000 year old artefacts because it was not made by their ancestors, it was made by the original owners of the land who somehow get dismissed as "primitive people", perhaps forgetting that most of our ancestors could be described as "primitive people" 4,000 years ago.

no primitive society ever built a thirteenth Century cathedral...


I too love the great cathedrals of Europe. Durham is probably my favourite. However I would say that the Egyptian and Sudanese pyramids, the city of Great Zimbabwe, many of the South American cities and temples, Britain's Stonehenge, and many other places in the world, rival many a thirteenth century cathedral in beauty, complexity and architectural sophistication.

no comparison with the work of civilized peoples


I think you may be forgetting that Egypt, China, India and probably other places had great civilisations thousands of years before Europe, indeed while my ancestors and yours were still running around wearing animal skins.

Edited to add: Just after I had finished writing this post an article popped up on my screen about Sudan's pyramids: Exploring Sudan's forgotten pyramids
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Re: the-hidden-cost-of-megaprojects

Postby johnthefireman » Wed May 10, 2017 1:14 am

More generally, when I saw the topic title, "the hidden costs of megaprojects", I wasn't expecting it to be along these interesting lines about architecture and historial artefacts. I doubt whether you can dig anywhere in UK and much of Europe without turning up something of interest. My nephew is an archaeologist working for a company that does exploratory digs ahead of any major construction projects and he is kept busy.

No, I was expecting it to look at issues like the environmental cost of megaprojects, and even more the social and human costs. In Africa we are used to seeing megaprojects (dams, railways, roads, ports, exploitation of minerals and other natural resources, mechanised industrial-scale architecture, etc), usually being carried out by foreign interests with the collusion of national governments, which have a huge negative impact on the local people, usually with no meaningful compensation and often involving the use of violence. It's common now to speak of the "curse" of natural resources, or to preface them with the word "blood" - blood oil, blood diamonds, etc. It has also become very evident that megaprojects rarely bring any benefits to the people who live there - the benefits are felt much further away, in the national capital or abroad - and usually bring disaster to local communities. I'm not against all megaprojects - the new spate of railway-building in Africa is clearly going to be beneficial in general terms in the long run, as are geothermal, solar and wind power projects and at least some of the water projects - but I think there is a huge discussion still to be had about the cost-benefit balance, not only in terms of financial cost but also environmental and human costs.
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Re: the-hidden-cost-of-megaprojects

Postby David Benton » Wed May 10, 2017 1:35 am

I was expecting the same thing , John.
Its a bit strange to describe finding an artifact as a hidden cost. I guess it invariably drives the cost of a project up , and as you can't foresee the find, it is hidden.
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Re: the-hidden-cost-of-megaprojects

Postby johnthefireman » Wed May 10, 2017 2:24 am

Thanks, David. I suppose the hidden cost in finding an artefact is that the project may be delayed while people like my nephew do further digs, and in an extreme case the project may be derailed if the artefact is considered of sufficient importance. The project may have to work around it, or find some way of preserving it.
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Re: the-hidden-cost-of-megaprojects

Postby philipmartin » Wed May 10, 2017 2:31 am

[quote="johnthefireman"]perhaps forgetting that most of our ancestors could be described as "primitive people" 4,000 years ago.[quote]
John - did you ever do "Princess Ida?"
"With a view to rise in the social scale,
He shaved his bristles and he docked his tail,
He grew mustachios, and he took his tub,
And he paid a guinea to a toilet club,
He paid a guinea to a toilet club
But it would not do,
The scheme fell through
For the Maid was Beauty's fairest Queen,
With golden tresses,
Like a real princess's,
While the Ape, despite his razor keen,
Was the apiest Ape that ever was seen!"

A bit of Gilbert & Sullivan.

I wouldn't want to compare Stonehenge with Chartres Cathedral. South transept rose window from Wiki.
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Re: the-hidden-cost-of-megaprojects

Postby johnthefireman » Wed May 10, 2017 4:07 am

philipmartin wrote:I wouldn't want to compare Stonehenge with Chartres Cathedral.


I certainly would. Different, of course, but no less majestic and beautiful, no less works of art, and no less technical masterpieces of their time.
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