Outsiders

Sometimes different cities follow one another on the same site and under the same name, born and dying without knowing one another, without communication among themselves. At times even the names of the inhabitants remain the same, and their voices’ accent, and also the features of the faces; but the gods who live beneath names and above places have gone off without a word and outsiders have settled in their place.

Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

When new developments come it is all to easy to erase the existing, to leave no trace of the city that was save the name – and sometimes not even that. A masterplan which does not recognise its context denies the layers of history which have shaped the place, who have written and re-written its territory. Its time is shallow.  This is the case with the new Greenwich masterplan: it acts without regard for its history, and it does so because the balance between the forces of capitalism and those of the state – which hold each other in tension – is disrupted; capitalism dominates and pushes the place towards deterritorialisation. It becomes a nowhere-place. The people who live there do so at a distance.