Sustainability challenges of high-speed railway megaprojects from a systems thinking lens
Complexity and Sustainability in Megaprojects
School of Business and Law
Megaprojects are intended to generate positive impacts for society at regional, national, or international levels. However, the potential unintended consequences associated with the activities in various stages of the megaprojects’ lifecycle, such as air pollution, waste generation, and social challenges, can adversely affect the sustainability of these projects. In this article, based on a systems thinking approach, a causal-loop diagram is developed to address the sustainability challenges of high-speed railway megaprojects. The two stages of construction and operation of the project have been considered and the effects of relevant variables on the three pillars of sustainability are discussed. The analysis and provided insights shed light on the significance of considering both short-term and long-term effects of the activities directly or indirectly linked with megaprojects and confirm systems thinking as an appropriate approach to analyze the sustainability issues of these projects.