Cities play a growing role in governing. This new role fits within a context that nation-states, global market forces and cities themselves continue to define. The analysis of this book focuses on how local efforts in the distinct European systems of France and Germany as well as American counterparts have provided for environmental quality and social inclusion alongside local economic development. Only in certain European settings has policy making at multiple levels accomplished all three objectives at once. In those settings, effective governance from below has relied on adequate support from higher levels of governments and a favorable position in the global economy.