The move towards the compact city is now entrenched in policy throughout Europe. In Part 4 attention was drawn to the fact that, in the UK as elsewhere, policy, and therefore implementation, have raced ahead of research, whilst the outcomes of many policies and measures are still not fully understood. Part 5 is also set within this context. It examines attempts to implement the compact city, comments on various policy outcomes and evaluates the dynamics of different solutions. The chapters in Part 5 further the debate about the implementation of the compact city (either 'actual' or 'virtual'), by giving an insight into examples of implementation.
The chapters offer a diverse range of work, each dealing with a different aspect of implementation. However, many of the themes being addressed are common. The focus is on specific solutions, but behind these solutions are a number of shared areas of discussion. There are fundamental questions about the agencies, methods, scale and legitimacy of implementation which are, as yet, unanswered. The contributions indicate, either implicitly or explicitly, that decisions need to be made about these broad issues if the compact city is to have a chance of success.
The first area of discussion focuses on the appropriateness of different agencies to implement the compact city. Several of the authors concentrate on the role of planners, and the planning system. Pratt and Larkham, for example, illustrate how the planning system could be developed to accommodate aspects of the compact city and provide a 'New Jerusalem', Breheny et al. examine how local authorities, through the planning system, are implementing UK policy designed to concentrate development in urban areas, and Sherlock and Burton suggest that the planning system could do more to reconcile the problems of high density urban living.
Planners alone, however, cannot bring about the massive changes needed to make the sustainable city a reality. The cooperation, in policy development and implementation, of other local authority departments (Pratt and Larkham),