The history of our infrastructure has been marked by influential megaprojects. From ancient structures like the Pyramids and Great Wall to modern marvels like the Eiffel Tower, these megaprojects not only embody human achievement, but they have also impact our society.
So, what is a megaproject? Megaprojects are large-scale, highly complex construction programs. Spanning sectors such as transportation, infrastructure, and energy, these projects typically have a budget of over $1 billion and involve many stakeholders and players to fund them. Megaprojects usually require years of development and are designed to transform the community. As more people are shifting into cities, the demand for megaprojects grows to meet the traffic, water, power, economic and living strains of modern day urban living. 8% of our global GDP is spent on megaprojects each year.
To show how megaprojects can revolutionize the world, we rounded up some of the world’s most innovative megaprojects still in construction or recently completed. They range from smart cities like Songdo International Business Project to massive bridges like the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge. Check out our infographic for more on these impressive projects.
While the term “megaproject” makes us think of something large, size is just one piece of the puzzle. What connects these megaprojects (and successful megaprojects throughout history) is their clear vision to impact an area’s people, economy, and social landscape.
Although many megaprojects have noble visions, they are often built with no clear blueprint, running the risk of being delayed, over budgeted, and under-delivering on its promise. However, successful megaprojects like the International Space Station and U.S. Interstate Highway system show that a well-envisioned and adaptive megaproject can fundamentally change our world. In addition to being an inspirational spectacle, these projects create jobs, establish political power, boost the economy, and strengthen the community.
The success of a megaproject will depend on its ability to adapt to different challenges and levels of complexity, as problems along the way are the biggest obstacles to their completion. While ambitious, these megaprojects are some of the most innovative in their construction and end goals — factors that will hopefully help them change society in the future.
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