This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book discusses a German urban policy specialist, focuses on the analysis of city-level improvements and identifies the lack of comparable data as a formidable obstacle to monitoring and evaluating city-level achievements. It responds to a set of common themes, such as governance and urban and environmental policies, sustainability and environmental management, reduction of the housing deficit, physical upgrading of cities, productivity and urban economy, poverty reduction, and urban forms adopted, all of them have different formats that correspond to the unique issues that each context and each author’s voice pose. The book offers a contribution to the growing literature on the view from communities, particularly the urban poor, in so far as they demonstrate the failure of normative urban policy at the country and city levels, even when supported by international processes.