The main argument of the thesis is that since the 1980s economic globalization has, among other phenomena, led to an incremental, continuous privatization of public assets and services not only at the national but also at the local level all over the world. This privatization process seems to follow a pattern, which has similarities everywhere, regardless of what is being privatized. As an outcome, the urban public sphere is disintegrating while it is being emptied of its public elements. The thesis has two outcomes. The first one describes a process by which elements of the local public sphere are gradually being relocated to the global private sphere, and how this governance process becomes an entrance for economic globalization to access the local level. The second one, a postscript, draws urbanistic and urban policy conclusions. Cities can be read as political a text. Not the appearance of public urban space, but the substance of the urban public sphere acts as a rearview mirror reflecting decisions which have led to its reformation. Changes in our urban landscape may be shaped more by global political and economic decisions than by the more visible local ones.