Abstract: Cities are crucial nodes of global economic networks. A city's economic success largely depends on its social capital and the existence of a hegemonic coalition for development. This paper focuses on Thessaloniki, the second largest city in Greece, a country on the European periphery. The slow pace of development during the last 20 years has placed Thessaloniki in a vicious circle. It is argued that given the significant structural problems in Greece, a wide social coalition for development that embraces a large segment of the socio-economic, political and intellectual forces is necessary to boost Thessaloniki's development and ensure that its fruits will be reaped by all.