Three sets of urban policy issues are identified in this paper. These relate to the growth and contraction of metropolitan areas, their changing role in the settlement systems, and their internal organization. Policy-oriented urban models are briefly reviewed. It is concluded that promising research approaches refer to: (a) innovation diffusion and urban growth cycles, (b) interurban migration and demographic change, and (c) spatial interaction within urban regions. These findings are then translated into a working agenda for the Urban Change Task at IIASA.