In many countries of Western Europe, cities are being built around cars and individual houses. This trend is often considered unavoidable by urban and transportation professionals because it is believed to correspond to what the population desires. But is this really the case? The article answers this question from two angles.First, it presents the results of a poll carried out in four cities in France (Paris / Ile-de-France, Lyon, Strasbourg, Aix-en-Provence) among 5,500 people representative of the populations of these cities. The poll showed that not all the inhabitants aspire to automobility and individual housing, but that they are forced by the lack of available transportation to adopt this lifestyle. A lack of large housing spaces to rent or buy at affordable prices pushes many families into the suburbs, where they have no choice but to use a car for almost all their travel needs, even within their own neighbourhoods. The results show that one of the stakes for the durability of public transport is the availability of a varied range of housing in the suburbs located close to the city, where dependence on the automobile is limited.Secondly, the paper presents different examples from Great Britain, Germany, and Switzerland. Each of these countries in its own way has developed urban development models that do without the dualist vision of the historical city built to pedestrian scale and the outer suburban formula constructed to the scale of the car. These examples go against the idea that outer suburban land development is unavoidable.