During the 30 years between the end of the Second World War and the beginning of the oil crisis in the mid-1970s, an intense modernization programme gave birth to a new France, one very different from the prewar France of the 1930s. This period is known as ‘Les Trentes Glorieuses’, the ‘Thirty Glorious Years’ (Fourastié 1979). During these three decades, the state administration grew rapidly and began to engage a number of new domains: one of these was urbanisme. After decades of experimentation, a new national urban policy was developed, establishing a significant break with past urban practices.