Introduction Germany, as a federal state with three levels of decision-making (federalBundesrepublik, states-Länder, and local government-Kommune), has political and decision-making structures quite different from many other European countries. German cities also have much more administrative autonomy and financial resources than cities of other countries (with municipal budgets twice the size per capita, for example, of those of many US cities) and therefore have more options to pursue their individual urban policies. The underlying political structure has its foundation in modern history, so understanding present urban challenges in Germany and current policy responses means that it is necessary to be aware of a number of factors.