This essay calls for discussion along three lines: whether the Dome was an inefficient subsidy to the private sector; whether it detracted from the social infrastructure needs of London; and whether the benefits it created were distributed unevenly, increasing social inequality.
The essay will analyse each of these elements as regards the Dome, as well as more broadly by looking at the literature of other mega-events and mega-projects. In doing so, it will seek to answer two questions. First, is Loftman correct that large-scale schemes are generally delusional fripperies of political ego that favour powerful private sector interests over needy communities and waste public money? Or is it just that by their ‘mega’ nature they are merely a reflection – writ big – of the delays and problems faced by the common householder when embarking on home improvements? And is it inevitable that large-scale undertakings suffer under massive public scrutiny with inflexible deadlines (in the case of events)? Secondly, is there a problem with such schemes given so many suffer from cost-over-runs and delays (for projects), which means authorities should tame their enthusiasm for the mega? Or is there a problem with the way they are being judged?
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