Keywords: Project Evaluation; Infrastructures: Other Public Investments; State and Local Government: Infrastructures; Transportation: General; Government Policy.
The paper presents a series of arguments and elaborations questioning the present Italian political attitude of seeing large civil works, specially within the transport sector, as indispensable public expenditures for objectives of economic development. In particular it is presented the rather dismal record of large transport projects worldwide, where cost overruns and unachieved traffic forecast dominate, specially so in railways. A summary of the past Italian planning documents and actions show the overall weakness of economic and financial analysis of projects against the general political preference for highly visible investments. Finally, more general considerations are developed on the low priority of this type of expenditures both at macroeconomic level and from the point of view of transport needs, given the dominance of medium-short distance traffic.