About OMEGA Centre

Based at the Bartlett School of Planning (BSP) at University College London (UCL), The OMEGA Centre for Mega Infrastructure and Development comprises a small team of Research Associates supported by an international network of partner academics, researchers and professionals engaged in various aspects of the planning, appraisal and delivery of mega projects world-wide. Formerly known as a Centre for Mega Projects in Transport and Development, the scope of the centre was expanded, after the completion of the OMEGA 3 Project, to include infrastructure projects in general. The centre moved beyond land-based transport infrastructure projects (or rather programmes of projects) but is still focusing on projects  costing in excess of US$ 1 billion (at 1990 prices) frequently with political high profile and perceived as critical to the success of major urban, metropolitan, regional and/or national and trans-national development.

About OMEGA Centre



The work at OMEGA led to the development of the Journal of Mega Infrastructure & Sustainable Development that provides a platform to critically examine the theory and practice of international mega infrastructure development holistically in different contexts. It explores the complexities, risks, opportunities and uncertainties entailed in decision-making and governance of large-scale infrastructure plans, programmes and projects, the lessons they offer for the future, and their potential to promote and deliver more sustainable development.


The Centre was set-up with funding from the Volvo Research & Education Foundations (VREF) in 2005 and has since focused especially on the challenges of megaprojects and associated urban, regional, national and trans-national development investments with a view to systematically examining how ‘fit for purpose’ they are in face of challenges of the 21st century. The overriding mission of the Centre is to help establish generically what determines the ‘success’ of such investments, especially in terms of how resilient they are in addressing the complexities, uncertainties, risks and opportunities of decision-making they encounter both within projects/programmes to them in the environments that provide their decision-making contexts.

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OMEGA 2 Project

The overarching research question posed by the OMEGA 2 Project was: what constitutes a successful mega transport project (MTP) in light of the aims of such projects and the anticipated sustainable development challenges presented by the 21st Century?

This investigation went well beyond the conventional project management delivery concerns of completing such projects ‘on time’, ‘on budget’ and ‘within prescribed specifications’ (often referred to as ‘Iron Triangle’ considerations of project management) important though these remain. The research was based on an international collaboration of 30 selected MTPs costing in excess of US 1 billion (at 1999 rates) and completed post-1990 in Europe, USA, Australia and the Asia-Pacific region.

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Illustrative Issues Addressed by the OMEGA 2 Project

Average cost-overrun
Completion on time/within one year delay
Delivery of original objectives
Delivery of revised objectives


Mega Transport Projects


Research Funding: 2006-2012 (SEK)


Partner Institutions (9 at Project Completion)


Total Value of Projects Reviewed (USD)


The OMEGA Centre is a global Centre of Excellence funded by the Volvo Research and Education Foundations (VREF). Working with partner universities across the world, the centre’s research focuses on achieving a better understanding of decision-making in the planning, appraisal and delivery of Mega Transport Projects (MTPs), based on thirty international case studies.

from VREF

OMEGA has inspired me throughout the course of studies. Working closely with the leading researchers in the field of Mega Infrastructure and Development helped me explore new avenues of research and develop new skills in planning and managing such projects.

from MSc MIPAD Student

Department for Transport, UK, appreciates OMEGA's input to the consultation process initiated by the DfT. The Consultation Paper titled: Appraisal and Modelling Strategy: Informing Future Investment Decisions has been found useful and informative.

from DfT, UK


Preparation Study of OMEGA Handbook on Decision-Making for the Planning and Appraisal of Mega Transport Projects with Supporting Social Media Networks

A selection of key findings from a five-year research project of Decision-Making in the Planning, Appraisal and Delivery of Mega Transport Projects (MTPs): Lessons for Decision-makers (OMEGA 2 Project) is presented in this executive summary.

Most Popular Downloads



‘Regulation for the Future: for Policy and Regulation in Utilities’ published by Sustainability First, produced by OMEGA Associate.

April 6, 2021

In March 2021, the UK think-tank Sustainability First published a report ‘Regulation for the Future: for Policy and Regulation in Utilities’, produced by OMEGA Centre Associate Dr. Martin Hurst.

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Centre Director awarded Fellowship of the National Academy of Social Sciences

April 06, 2021

Congratulations to Professor Harry Dimitriou, Director of the OMEGA Centre, who has been appointed as a Fellow of the National Academy of Social Sciences.

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Proposed International Municipal Investment Fund Technical Assistance Facility

April 06, 2021

Brian Field, a Senior Research Fellow in the Omega Centre and Visiting Professor at the Bartlett School of Planning, has recently been invited to join the Advisory Council of the International Municipal Investment Fund Technical Assistance Facility, part of the United Nations Capital Development Fund.

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OMEGA Centre invited to participate in proposed G20 Task Force initiative on developing federated digital knowledge platforms for infrastructure development

April 02, 2021

The Centre has received an invitation for OMEGA to participate in a proposed G20 Task Force initiative to prepare a Policy Brief for G20 consideration, on developing federated digital knowledge platforms for infrastructure development. Further details are being finalised.

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United Nations Sustainable Infrastructure Project Preparation and Investment Facility

April 02, 2021

Brian Field, a Senior Research Fellow in the Omega Centre and Visiting Professor at the Bartlett School of Planning, has recently become involved in a proposed initiative for a new UN Sustainable Infrastructure Project Preparation and Investment Facility.

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OMEGA Centre Consultants in new partnership for major infrastructure advisory service

February 10, 2020

OMEGA Centre Consultants have recently announced a tie up with Agilia Infrastructure Partners to provide a ‘boutique’ major infrastructure advisory service.

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MPhil/PhD Planning Studies

The MPhil/PhD in Planning Studies is designed for graduates of any discipline who wish to make a career in planning or in related fields in teaching or research.

The school is internationally distinguished within the planning field and offers a unique hands-on learning environment for students, involving interaction with some of the leading urban planning academics and practitioners, through close supervision, creative project work and teaching innovation. A PhD is awarded for the most advanced level of study available. It shows the ability to devise and carry out a programme of research with originality and critical judgement. The final product is a thesis of 100,000 words, and an oral examination of the thesis.

MSc Infrastructure Planning Appraisal and Development

Graduates of this programme will be well placed to help create more holistic, robust and sustainable infrastructure project outcomes.

The MSc Programme in Mega Infrastructure Planning, Appraisal and Delivery is a one-year full-time or two-to five-year modular/flexible international programme which has been designed to equip students with the multidisciplinary competences required to plan,  appraise and deliver large-scale and complex infrastructure programmes and projects fit for the multiple challenges of the 21st Century. The MSc programme benefits from the findings of research conducted by the OMEGA Centre, also located in the Bartlett School of Planning at UCL, which has recently conducted case studies in decision-making in mega project developments in ten economies in Asia and the Pacific, Europe and North America.