In cultural analysis the theoretical focus on postmodernism and historical focus on the metropolis is often taken to be one of a kind. But in fact, this double focus is oxymoronic in nature.The term metropolis means `mother city` or `mother cities`. This term is based on assumption that there is an original city, a first city from which other cities emerge like Athens or Rome in Antiquity or Paris in the nineteenth century, or in the ideal sense of a prototypical city, real or not, on which other cities are modeled, for example from the urban planning of functionalism or from the recirculation of grid structure on the North American continent.However, the other term of the title, postmodernity, means almost everything that goes against and even destroys this notion of the city and of place in general. But, nevertheless, without a highly developed urbanity, postmodernity would never have exsisted or been thought of.
More often than not, this contradiction is subsumed under the unifying umbrella of `urban culture`, which seems to allow us to avoid predetermining whether the postmodern urban condition is contradictory or not. The decision is left open to the actual dynamics of history, where we are confronted with various manifestations of urban culture through history, the term itself being considered historically neutral.But urban culture is too complex to just be a trivial fact, because it is always an imagined realithy-`reality` because it is a material fact whatever its definition might be, and `imagined` because its conceptualization, the basic understanding of it, does not automatically follow from historical urban realithy all by itself.