In recent years large urban development projects (mega-projects) have become frequent in European, American and Asian cities. Surprising physical similarities can be seen between the types of project and in the orientation towards the market and the private sector. However, the ways in which the objectives of physical and social transformation are pursued are different. This paper investigates recent mega-projects in New York, London, Amsterdam and Singapore, cities which represent a wide range of variables in the capitalist ownership regime. The comparison shows that public-private partnerships can bring public benefi ts, but also that these mega-projects are risky for both parties and produce environments of poor urban quality. Further more the fair distribution of the impacts of these projects is the result of government commitment to the production of social benefi ts.
Keywords: Mega-projects; urban planning; fairness