This book is about cities. A city is a geographically definable large settlement or high density concentration of people, with a distinctive way of life in terms of production and reproduction and circulation, and characterized by a socio-technical structure that supports its functionality (for the concept of city, see e.g. Hartshorn 1992; on the recent discussions of the role of cities see e.g. Glaeser 2012). In a world where institutional boundaries – especially those of nationstates – have been eroded, direct and indirect connections and interdependencies between cities have increased. In the open globalized economy probably the most characteristic feature of their relations is competition. It determines which cities attract the most prestigious relocating headquarters, venture capital, talented young designers, mega-events and so forth. The most visible and widely discussed outcome of intercity competition is the ‘spikiness’ of our world (Florida 2005b), and from a more structural point of view, the formation of asymmetric global urban hierarchy (Friedmann 1986; Sassen 2001; Abrahamson 2004), which determines how cities are positioned in the global division of labour. Factual development has two faces in this respect: (i) it reflects the structural tendency towards a dynamic differentiation of cities in economic life; and (ii) designed or planned actions of differentiation, which either utilizes or countervails dynamic processes. Cities therefore occupy differing positions in the fields of asymmetries, and to understand their positions therein is of great strategic significance.