Nowadays, practically all big cities have a Web site. The objective of this article is not to make a detailed study about their contents, but to examine their organization and underlying assumptions: indeed those choices illustrate very clearly the trends and priorities in terms of governance. The metaphors are becoming a structuring element for software design and applications. For instance, the screens of the first Macintoshes were designed with the desktop metaphor. Nowadays, practically all existing operating systems are not only visual, but also based on this metaphor. Those metaphors used in local authorities portals reveal the type of relationships with the public, and are a track to follow for e-government and e-democracy.