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 $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
Book cover of Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Featuring thought-provoking commentary and insights from some of the leading thinkers and practitioners in the field.
$18.95
Red necktie with map of Boston

Tie one on to celebrate your city

Choose from over 20 styles of neckties imprinted with detailed city or transit maps.
$44.95