Responsibility for the face of our cities lies in many hands. Nevertheless, in urban development it is often only specific designs by “star architects” that are the focus of attention. This book affords exclusive insights into the work of the real decision-makers: mayors and councillors, officials and advisory boards. 40 in-depth portraits reveal people who have to be hard workers and visionaries at the same time. From the female senator of the federal city state of Hamburg to the mayor of the municipality of Kelsterbach, from the Munich head of municipal planning to the head official in Rostock: they all give individual answers to the challenges their city faces, while dispelling the popular clichés about preventers and delayers in municipal offices. General perspectives are provided by three supplementary essays by Peter Conradi, Werner Durth and Peter Götz. They are also of the opinion that all key issues of the future are directly or indirectly connected to urban development, as today the city is people’s primary living environment. Furthermore, urban development concerns us all – not just city residents.