If the concept of governance has been criticised for its normative content, it is no doubt because the micro level of analysis has been neglected. This gap can be filled by examining in concrete how knowledge is produced in and for action. In this way one can understand how macro changes are incorporated into actual practices. In order to illustrate this point, the article examines urban policies. The field of urban planning has been one in which expert knowledge committed to modernisation has been particularly important. It is also a field in which such knowledge has been questioned and attacked by those provided with local knowledge. This area of action clearly reveals multiple and more complex ways of producing knowledge for action, yet such change is not necessarily synonymous of democratisation or withdrawal of politics. We are witnessing a major diversification of the forms of production of knowledge for action, tied to local political and social configurations.