This article analyzes representations of urban space by exploring city planning duringthe last half century in Stockholm and Leningrad/Saint Petersburg. City plans thatconstitute the empirical foundation of the article were enforced during the nodalpoints—1950s–1960s and early 2000s — of the historical development of bothcountries and reflect specificities of their ideological and sociopolitical heritage. Ourstudy explores how representations of space — crystallized as ideas about goals andpossibilities for spatial planning — have changed over time and how they reflect largerpolitical, economic, and ideological transformations in Sweden and Russia. Twooverarching themes are identified in our analysis. First, the ideal of equality, whichdominated both the socialist and social democratic ideologies in the 1950s–1960sand provided opportunities for extensive normative control and manipulation ofsocial life by means of a planned physical environment. Second, the ideal of the“European/global” city is distinguished in the early 2000s as a means of promotingeconomic development by incorporating new actors and shifting the focus to a moremarket-oriented approach to planning.