Public-Private Partnerships: Trick or Treat?

As localities increasingly pursue public-private partnerships to fund much-needed infrastructure projects, Ryan Holeywell explores the promise and pitfalls of this popular financing arrangement. Are dissenting voices being stifled?

"Public-private partnerships (P3s) are clearly on a roll," observes Holeywell. "Last year’s congressional highway authorization vastly expanded the scope of federal mechanisms that provide low-interest loans for projects that typically involve privatization. In addition, the number of states that have passed legislation to enable privatization is on the rise. Many people see P3s as a game-changer: the best, and possibly only, way to repair and replace the country’s public works." 

"Little, however, is said about the downside," he adds. "There’s a growing cadre of academics, activists, and state and federal auditors who question these public-private deals, but their voices aren’t always heard."

"Increasingly, it seems the discussion of P3s isn’t about whether it’s wise for governments to enter the deals; it’s about how governments can best facilitate them."

Full Story: Public-Private Partnerships Are Popular, But Are They Practical?

Comments

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245

Essential Readings in Urban Planning

Planning on taking the AICP* Exam? Register for Planetizen's AICP * Exam Preparation Course to save $25.
 Blockitecture Building Block Set - Garden City Series

Just In! Get the Garden City Expansion

New from Blockitecture! Create towers, cities, and dwellings with this set of architectural building blocks.
$75
Book cover of Unsprawl

Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places

Explore visionary, controversial and ultimately successful strategies for building people-centered places.
Starting at $12.95