The article addresses two topics. First, the reactions to urban decline in two cities are studied. Second, we will document the changes in local government occurring in the process of transformation. The hypothesis guiding the analysis is that cities in the process of coping with decline or urban revitalization (in terms of population structure and the economic base) are forced to transform both their political and administrative structure from urban government to urban governance. Especially three elements of revitalization programmes are assumed to lead to urban governance: public-private partnerships; applications for external funds, in particular from the EU; and changes in the employment structure. With respect to the theoretical model suggested in the second chapter of this book (Friedrichs and Vranken), urban governance is taken as the dependent variable.