Because of successive crises, the issue of having to build the city remains at the top of the list of architects’ preoccupations and so regularly provides a motive for them to explore new ground in their projects. It is no more the case that developers or public agencies deny a desire to be concerned with the urban environment. But this passage to an urban society does not happen without pain. If, between the difficulties that contemporary cities and their peripheries are faced with, some are without doubt the direct consequences of an economic crisis that mostly goes beyond the domain of architecture and deeply destabilizes society, while others are due to planning errors, from which it is difficult to avoid blaming the profession. Often, these errors have even accentuated and exaggerated the effects of the crisis, creating, locally, some situations that are unsustainable. To understand this state of affairs we have to keep reminding ourselves at regular intervals of Brixton, Venissieux or Mantes. Today the issue of the city remains a challenge and so we believe that at the conclusion of our study it is useful to identify some future directions.