AbstractUrban spaces are important components within cities that improve urban competitiveness in the context of intercity competition. The notion of urban space in today’s increasingly globalizing world has been transformed in response to new physical–spatial needs and circumstances. This study aims to identify important factors in changing urban spaces within cities for globalization and urban competitiveness. After reviewing the relevant literature, a number of cases of urban developments in four global cities (Istanbul, Turkey, Shanghai, China, Singapore, and Tokyo – will be examined to identify important factors of transformation within cities for globalization and urban competitiveness. The findings illustrate nine underlying urban space transformation factors that embrace 37 key strategies. These factors include the realization of environmental and social sustainability; emphasis on the arts, culture, and local assets; international collaborations in the design of spaces and delivery of services; application of modern technologies (construction, information, and communication); privatization of property markets; the notion of a cosmopolitan public sphere; planning for leisure activities and urban tourism; experience economy and encouraging consumerism; and service-based economy and knowledge-based industries. The interaction between these factors and the preconditions of each city, such as a city’s competitiveness ability and contextual issues, create the lens through which urban space transformation could be understood. This study could provide insights for policy makers and professionals to apply and implement urban space transformation strategies for globalization and urban competitiveness.