Two important steps in the long season of extraordinary intervention for southern Italy can be considered as a result of law no. 634 dated 1957, known as the Pastore law, and the elaboration in 1969 of the integrated economic planning document of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, more commonly known as «Progetto Ottanta». The Pastore law, with the introduction in Italy of François Perroux’s principles of polarized development, imprinted an industrialist turning point of great environmental and socioeconomic impact in the activities of CasMez (Coffer for the development in southern Italy). In less than twenty years, from 1957 to the second half of the 80s, approximately 50 industrial centres were created in the south-central Italy, in ASI (industrial development areas) and NI (industrial centres). In southern Italy, with the logic of polarized development, the rapport historically determined between city and industry changed dramatically, the “Village Industries Program” decentralized industrialization model, already experimented by Ford of Detroit before the second world war, took on an important role and not simply under an ideological profile. The paper retraces the main steps of this experience of territorial assisted development through critical debate that saw the involvement in that historical period of some of the main protagonists of Italian urban culture.