Compact City Policies

A Comparative Assessment

image of Compact City Policies

This book examines the concept of the compact city and the implication of the current urban context for compact city policies. It explores their potential outcomes, particularly in terms of how it can contribute to Green Growth and looks at developing indicators to monitor compact city and track policy performance. It reviews compact city policies currently being implemented across the OECD in relation to the pursuit of Green Growth objectives and provides ideas to achieve better outcomes. And it assesses the key governance challenges faced by decision-makers as they seek to implement practical compact city strategies. This report is thus intended as “food for thought” for national, sub-national and municipal governments as they seek to address their economic and environmental challenges through the development and implementation of spatial strategies in pursuit of Green Growth objectives. It also illustrates best practices (which present key elements of successful compact city policies) based on empirical evidence that can be shared across OECD member countries.

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Current compact city practices in OECD countries

This chapter looks at current compact city policy practices in OECD countries. First, it describes major policy instruments in OECD countries based on the results of the OECD survey and a literature review. Next, it takes a closer look at policy practices in the five case study metropolitan areas: Melbourne (Australia), Vancouver (Canada), Paris (France), Toyama (Japan) and Portland (United States). Finally, it presents a comparative assessment from three perspectives: first, how policy goals and strategies respond to different local circumstances; then, whether appropriate policy instruments are utilised to address multiple policy objectives, including environmental and economic sustainability; and finally, how current policy practices incorporate complementary strategies to minimise the potential adverse effects of compact cities.


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