The first part of the book illustrates the emergence of strategic spatial planning in different forms in various parts of the world. As we clarified in the general introduction, at the end of the twentieth century urban and regional planning, with its ‘doctrines’ (Faludi and van der Valk, 1994), traditions and practices, born at the beginning of the same century, has been challenged everywhere for its inability to cope with the speed of change and to serve the new demands emerging in the urban sphere: from urban competition to urban sustainability, from regeneration to the support of big events, from managing urban shrinkage to managing rapid growth in developing countries (Albrechts, 2004). On the one hand, the accelerated pace of change and the growing complexity favoured the crisis of any rigid and static form of planning, while on the other hand it emphasized the need for new instruments to orientate choices in a turbulent environment.