This study is part of the renewed theoretical and conceptual approach to space in health policies. The key potential of this approach lies in dealing with the organization of space as a product of relations between society and state power, influenced by the economy and enabled by politics. When understood as a social construction, such space provides the material basis for a historical narrative, allowing a better understanding of how policies are formulated and implemented in urban space. Based on this space, we investigate the policy governing the configuration of health services in the city of São José dos Campos, São Paulo, Brazil, during two different periods: the 1920s, in which the town became a health resort, and the early 1980s, when the municipal public health system was organized. A historical and geographic social reconstitution revealed both ambiguities and consistencies in a town whose health profile acquired the characteristics of an industrial city.