The deep transformations experienced in the past twenty years by the city as a consequence of the new international economy, the diffusion of communication technologies, the shift from territories based on a system of nodes to one of networks and flows, stand in favour of urban plans and projects flexible and adaptable. Instead, in front of the uncertain urban societies they had to deal with, many European cities have taken the very different path of the Large Urban Projects. Such "resolute" plans are constituent elements of the new urban policy required by the neo-liberal urban policies. Through them, cities tries to position themselves within the new international division of production and consumption imposed by globalization. The Large Urban Projects and the coalitions of interests on which they stand appear as an extreme attempt to defend the central role of the European city and, by way of consequence, the essential role Europe has historically played in a world system that, on the contrary, seems to be on the way of pushing it towards the edge.
Keywords: European city, urban planning, urban projects