Robbing History private symbols
There is more to the continuity of the physical environment than just habit and nostalgia.Old buildings embody history. They are worlds; In old buildings we glimpse the world of previous generations. The cultural historian Ivan Illich remarked once, “History gives us distance from the present, as if it were the future of the past. In the spirit of contemplation it releases us from the prison of the present to examine the axioms of our time”.
In the city centre today part of our physical cultural and historical inheritance through buildings is disappearing in front of our eyes. What is replacing it has no rhyme or reason apart from lack of choice. Generic shopping accommodates the acceleration of public space into private hands. People direct themselves through town centers not so much by local landmarks but by retail outlets. GAP clothing at the bottom of town GAP at the middle of town or GAP at the top of town.
The diverse culture and commerce that populated the town center has all but disappeared. Private development housing and conversions are geared to single professional individuals that along with commercial districts create a ghost town atmosphere of barren streets and car culture. In fact making large areas of the city unsafe at night, and socially exclusive by day.