In this concise survey, Helen Meller aims to explore the interaction of the social and physical environment of cities. All modern societies have experienced mass urbanisation, and have been subject to the ecomic, social and techlogical forces which have produced this urbanisation. Yet all towns and cities are t the same. The author points out that historical and cultural factors have played, and are still playing, an important part in shaping responses to these forces. This becomes even more clearly evident when the urban environment becomes subject to planning. Urban regeneration has facilitated t just an improvement in the physical environment of cities but in their ecomic and social fortunes as well. This study is an accessible analysis of the way in which social, cultural and physical factors have created the quality of life in British cities over the past two centuries.