"Metropolis" explores the idea of a class of supercities in the past and present, and in the western and developing worlds. It analyses their characteristic problems of congestion, poverty, inequality and squalor, and contrasts these with their inherent glamour and attraction.;Past civilizations have always expressed themselves in great cities, immense in their size, wealth and contribution to human progress. Ancient cities such as Babylon, Rome and Constantinople are prime examples.;Today there are hundreds of giant cities representing the greatest achievements of different cultures, but as communications improve they have been drawn into a world economic system. Conequently, the supercities of today are poised between their uniqueness and their shared transactions.;This book confines itself to discussing a handful of cities which the author sees as representing peaks of cultural achievement, and which were centres of creativity transmitting many of the values of civilization to succeeding generations.