Written in a lively and accessible style by leading scholars from eleven countries this is the first global book to provide a thorough examination of the urban challenges now facing city leaders and managers in all continents. The text is organized into three parts: the global pressures now impacting urban governance; the innovations currently taking place in urban government; and the heartland themes of leadership, partnership and the democratic challenge. The analysis suggests that global forces pose a grave threat to civilized living ? the pursuit of narrow self-interest could drive all cities into a spiral of decline resulting in consumers living isolated lives in separate fortified enclaves. All the authors in this volume reject this vision of our urban future. Instead, by analyzing place-specific experiences and offering new insights on the dynamics of urban change, they propose imaginative routes for reform. This book argues for strategies that can lead to prosperous multi-cultural cities across the world ? cities that enhance the quality of life for all citizens.