- Compact City Policies: Comparative Assessment    click here to open paper content212 kb
by    Matsumoto, Tadashi | tadashi.matsumoto@oecd.org   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
This paper aims to re-examine Compact City policies from the Green Growth perspective and assesses the current policy practices, based on a survey on OECD countries and metropolitan case studies (Melbourne, Paris, Portland, Toyama and Vancouver).
The concept of Compact City has been long discussed as a policy tool to manage urban sprawl and to reduce carbon emissions. Most recently, however, the concept is taking on renewed relevance as a policy approach to address multi-dimensional urban goals in light of emerging Green Growth concept - reducing environmental impacts while at the same time creating source of growth.

In this regard, this paper aims at: i) re-examining the meaning of Compact City policies more precisely, how they can contribute to Green Growth; ii) examining the current policy practices and providing assessments for better outcomes under different local circumstances. The study is based on a survey to OECD countries and a case study in five metropolitan regions (Melbourne, Paris, Portland, Toyama and Vancouver), which represents different urban contexts. Key policy practices in each region are presented and compared.

As a result, the study identifies key Compact City policy outcomes from the Green Growth perspective: a) shortening intra-urban travel distances; b) reducing automobile dependency; c) reducing non-automobile energy consumption in urban centres; d) enabling local energy generation technologies; e) encouraging recycle of already urbanized land; f) conserving farmlands and natural diversity; g) generating diversity in urban centres; h) creating new green business needs; and i) increasing the efficiency of public service delivery.

The study also underscores that policy complementarities are keys for achieving better outcomes. The three major strategies (managing sprawl, intensive use of existing urban fabric, focused investment in urban centres) must be pursued together. Policies to address negative impacts of Compact City (congestion, high rents, loss of quality-of-life, urban heat islands, etc.) are also complementary measures to be taken simultaneously. Packaging regulations and fiscal instruments intervention is also effective to maximize outcomes. Finally, policy design and implementation taking local context into consideration is crucial.
Compact City, Green Growth, policy complementarities, local context, metropolitan governance
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