Is it possible to discern correlations between past and present urban policies? Do path dependencies exist at the urban level? If so, how do they differ from other links between the past and present? A preview of the literature dealing with dependencies and urban change, a presentation of the research methodology and an examination of the historical archives of six European cities in France, Germany and Switzerland enable us to identify three features common to both past and present transport and urban planning policies-namely, contingency, reproduction and innovation.