GPS and CSS radio sources are the objects of choice to investigate the evolution of young radio-loud AGN. Previous investigations, mainly based on number counts and source size distributions, indicate that GPS/CSS sources decrease significantly in radio power when evolving into old, extended objects. We suggest this is preceded by a period of increase in radio luminosity, which lasts as long as the radio source is confined within the core-radius of its host galaxy. We have selected a sample of nearby compact radio sources, unbiased by radio spectrum, to determine their luminosity function, size distribution, dynamical ages, and emission line properties in a complete and homogeneous way. First results indicate that the large majority of objects (>80%) exhibit classical GPS/CSS radio spectra, and show structures consistent with them being compact double or compact symmetric objects. This sample provides an ideal basis to further test and constrain possible evolution scenarios, and to investigate the relation between radio spectra and morphologies, orientation and Doppler boosting in samples of young radio-loud AGN, in an unbiased way.