Given the difficulties states are having coping with the various current (financial, economic, environmental…) crises at both the national and international levels, attention is increasingly being drawn to the growing scope at the local level for initiatives to attempt to meet the foremost present and future challenges. This is well illustrated by Jean Haëntjens in this issue, when he calls for the implementation of strategic visions in cities to cope with climate problems. Julien Damon reinforces the point in this article, stressing how important the metropolitan level is tending to become globally in the response to both the major and minor problems of individuals. Drawing on various recent publications in the English-speaking world, he shows what underlies this potential “metropolitan revolution” and assesses how prevalent it might also become in France as a result of ongoing local government reorganization. Taking these thoughts further, Julien Damon speculates on the possible emergence in France of “welfare-metropolises” coming gradually to supplant a flagging welfare state.