Informations and abstract
Keywords: Transport Networks; Rating and Selection of Public Investments; Public-Private Partnerships (PPP); Project Financing; Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA)
All networks for the transportation of people, commodities, goods, information and services, both traditional (infrastructure), and innovative ("infostructure") that embody and develop technology, that are capable of evolving and at the same time of integrating and creating new markets, of promoting competition and increasing the productivity of the inputs, all of these networks are complementary with one another and are all necessary for enhancing competitiveness. Given the current economic cycle in the Euro Area - characterized by relatively slow growth - and the scarcity of public financial resources, investment programs must be such as to offer the best mix of infrastructure, infostructure and investments in R&D. With reference to traditional infrastructure, not all projects are equally useful for the economic development. A precise order of priority of the investment options needs to be defined so that, in allocating the resources, priority is given to: i) works aimed at creating complex and high "value added" systems, characterized by high medium term economic and social prof itability; ii) works that are integrated in contexts of intermodal mobility; iii) works that are liable to promote the use of Public-Private Partnership instruments (PPP), or project finance instruments. In order to rate public projects and to make the best choice, it is of fundamental importance to carry out, besides the traditional financial analysis, a Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA). These methodologies, together with the PPP, lead to the programming and implementation of projects characterized by broad user basins (and hence also significant cash flows, like the transport systems between and within large metropolitan areas), controlling timelines and costs and triggering additional private resources. The European experience shows that this approach is feasible. In our Country it is necessary to create the conditions, especially at the regulatory level, conducive to making the best use of these instruments. Against this background the experience of the Lyon-Turin railway link demands that the "Legge Obiettivo" ("Objective Law", the new legislative framework introduced in Italy in 2001 to establish a fast-track system for the realization of public works defined to be "strategic and of major national interest") be revisited, also from the standpoint of favouring an involvement "ex ante" of the local governments and communities. This should contribute to overcoming the "crossfire of vetoes" by the various stakeholders that often translates into "ex post" financial compensation, with the ensuing uncontrolled delays and cost overruns.