Internationally renowned architects are at centre stage in public debates, both with reference to designing esthetically striking artifacts, and for urban regeneration programs. The narrative of the Bilbao effect has been spreading in many countries around the world, apparently leading cities to compete in collecting skyscrapers and cultural facilities. Despite the fact that these forms of urban development have been changing the landscape in several cities, attention and explanations regarding the rationalities implied in such decision making processes are today limited. This book draws on the extensive study of Abu Dhabi, Paris and New York, providing an in-depth analysis of more than twenty projects and suggesting how architecture and planning could be of higher relevance in urban development. The book proposes an original photographic body which was developed on commission by Michele Nastasi, depicting the analysed projects and buildings in Bilbao, Abu Dhabi, Paris, New York City and in the Vitra Campus.