We do not intend to discourage prospective urban analysts by focusing on difficult issues in this chapter. At the same time, we do not want to help train eager analysts who are unaware of the difficulties of the implementation process or the limits of quantitative methods. Analytical competence must be balanced with mature judgment. The uncritical application of any of the methods of this book will almost surely lead to frustration and failure. It has been our observation that modelers who have pursued implementation with the same energy as they applied to modeling have been successful in the urban scene.

As mentioned in Chapter 1, increasingly severe financial constraints are confronting cities throughout the industrialized world. Yet urban residents are demanding more services, in type, quantity, and quality. Hence, administrators of urban services are being forced to become managers, weighing the relative costs and benefits of alternative allocations of resources. They are having to spend time and money making, hopefully, improved decisions. The significant returns on investment of competent studies are now becoming apparent to citizens as well as to agency administrators. Thus, the demand is increasing for quantitative tools to assist in decision making. The methods of this book provide a beginning. The coming years should be exciting ones, both for methodology development and for the intelligent implementation of urban operations research.