Two interrelated contemporary trends—gentrification and globalization—have had a major influence on local politics. Civic leaders pursue gentrifying strategies to make their cities more attractive to the professional and creative workforces of a global economy. The availability of talented and skilled workers will ultimately attract national and global corporations. Gentrification is occurring in many, but not all, cities. Contemporary corporate-led gentrification, new-build gentrification, and super-gentrification all differ significantly from the earlier phase of pioneer-led gentrification. The upscaling of local communities is not simply a natural process. Corporations and government decision makers play a great rule in the upscaling of inner-city neighborhoods, as a case study of Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood underscores. The chapter reviews various policy tools, including mandatory affordable housing set asides, linkage fees, and community organizing that cities use to cope with gentrification and to preserve a city’s stock of affordable housing.

Cities fall on different rungs of the global cities hierarchy (also called a world cities hierarchy) depending on the degree to which they serve as an important hub essential to global commerce. The digitalization and outsourcing of work to low-wage countries overseas is another important dimensions of globalization. The “new immigration” is yet another global force that had considerable impact on U.S. cities and suburbs. The chapter explores the urban impacts of immigration and why a number of cities choose to be a Welcome City or Sanctuary City.