Getting the public and politicians on board

Nowadays, many members of the public judge (municipal) infrastructure projects and business relocation in their back yard primarily on the basis of whether or not they serve their own personal interests. While legitimate and not necessarily anything new, the increasing willingness to protest often poses major challenges for politicians and project sponsors alike. There is a long list of failed infrastructure projects in Germany, and this brings home just how real civil protests are today and how far-reaching the consequences can be.

Various factors may explain why such projects sometimes fail to come to fruition: in addition to familiar phenomena such as nimbyism, concerns over environmental consequences and the fear of high costs, there is also a general loss of confidence in politicians and project sponsors. Although efforts to confront the negative attitude may be diffuse, there are certain commonalities: deficiencies in communication and a sense of not being personally involved in the success of projects are the main reasons why people refuse to accept them.