I was shocked, if not somewhat amused, to see the image of the 'Urban Splashed' Park Hill Estate in Sheffield (AJ 06.10.05). The lifestyle it portrays is no different to the one that first appeared in Le Corbusier's drawings 80 years ago, with what we now know to be a naive utopian vision. The external activity Urban Splash hopes to generate by introducing various amenities is lazy design which harks back to Lord Rogers' principle of 'insert an urban plaza, complete with café, and they will come'.
Social interaction between residents within the external spaces can only be achieved when the more fundamental issue of the flawed planning of the estate as a whole is addressed. I believe that Park Hill is of considerable merit but dressing it up with flying ducks and hot air balloons is doing it a disservice.
Mark Donaldson, Edinburgh