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In response to the challenges posed by urban decline, local policy activism has increased in countries across Europe. René Peter Hohmann argues here that we should view these area-based community initiatives, such as England’s New Deal for Communities and Germany’s Social City Program, as incubators for new forms of urban governance that seek to foster the active participation of residents and nonprofit groups. Based on his comparative analysis of initiatives in Bristol, England, and Duisburg, Germany, Hohmann’s study provides a richly informed assessment of local policy activism and its impact on neighborhood organizations and developers.