Public-private partnerships, also known as P3s, have become a common method for providing public infrastructure around the globe for almost three decades. Among local P3s, Vancouver’s Canada Line often comes to mind.
Their popularity seems to be increasing, especially with tighter public spending, says Sauder Professor Anthony Boardman.
At the same time, the concept of the private sector providing a service, traditionally cared for by the public sector, is not without controversy.
“Infrastructure should serve the public interest,” says Boardman, ahead of Sauder’s upcoming international conference on public-private partnerships, held from June 13 to 14.
The conference is attracting more than 30 leading academics, practitioners and students to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of recent P3s.
“The ultimate goal of this conference is to generate innovative solutions for the provision of public infrastructure,” he says.
Boardman and fellow professors Graeme Hodge of Melbourne’s Monash University and Carsten Greve of the Copenhagen School of Businessorganized the Vancouver conference, which is the second in a three-part series.
The first conference was held in Copenhagen last year, and the third and final will be in Melbourne 2014.
The series build on the “International Handbook on Public-Private Partnerships”, which was co-edited by Boardman, Hodge and Greve, and debates the future of P3s.