Zurich is a global city, one of a group of global control centers of the world economy. In international comparisons, Zurich has been routinely placed at the second or third rank in global city hierarchy, together with cities like San Francisco, Sydney or Toronto. In the decades after World War II, urban development in Zurich was defined by an encompassing growth coalition consisting of right-wing and left-wing forces, following a relatively moderate strategy of modernization. As of the 1970s, public life in Zurich was still characterized by a crushing parochialism that left very little space for the development of new lifestyles or alternative forms of cultural expression. A growing number of towns and villages in the densely populated lowlands of Switzerland have come under the influence of Zurich’s headquarter economy and have become metropolitan in character. While the global city has been expanding into the region, the situation in Zurich City has also undergone fundamental changes.