This article investigates the role played by the state in the production and management of urban space vis-à-vis global agents of change. The proliferation of new towns and special economic zones as urban restructuring strategies in rapidly developing countries like China and India are receiving much attention from the scholarly community, documenting and interrogating urban transitions from centralized planning to more participatory and often privatized modes of decentralized planning. This article seeks to tease out the kinds of relationships between the state and other urban development actors it entails, ranging from conflict to collaboration, from protest to partnerships, and from contestation to collaboration. In the Shanghai Metropolitan context, we focus on Anting New Town and Songjiang New City as two cases for understanding the relative power of the municipal government, global capital, professional planning, and the limited influence of local residents in the process and outcome of large-scale suburban development. As a comparison, we focus on the West Bengal State government's role in the development of two new townships (Rajarhat New Town and the Kolkata West International City) on the fringes of the existing core city of Kolkata (Calcutta), India. Drawing on a number of secondary sources such as development plans, newspaper articles, field-based observations, and informal discussions and interviews with official town planners, architects, and private planners, our goal is to compare and contrast the two strategies foregrounding the practices and the relationship of the state to the forces of privatization and globalization, to local grassroots actors and the precarious as well as multifarious ways in which it seeks to constantly negotiate with the dynamics of development. It seeks to answer: what kind of challenges does the state face in reorganizing the urban? Who are the other actors involved in the negotiations and exclusions, contestations, and collaborations? What are the new sociospatial, economic, and political boundaries and contents of the spaces produced?