Virtual Metropolis is a think-tank of progressive urbanism: its mission is to make visible the multi-layered culture of the contemporary, wired city. If as Barthes says, the city is a book with a thousand million poems, then this is the place where its pages unfold. Here architecture and urbanism provide the code to access a series of passages to the city's alter egos. Created by artists, architects and designers, these 'fictive cities' reflect back the real city, the city of our daily existence, to its present inhabitants and future visitors. The city, in turn, gives structure and coherence to the experience of the virtual and cultural world.