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Calm turns to delirium if infrastructure is lacking

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Letters

The Corbusian image of intellectual calm rather than delirium mentioned in the Future Cities article (AJ 8.7.00) is a human necessity in order to be rational. The delirium is a result of congestion or clashes that occur out of necessity also, due to work or leisure, but to survive the latter you cannot be without the former.

Corbusier designed great individual buildings which achieved this.His theories on towns and planning may have been suitable for the featureless plains of India, Brazil or France but are alien to the UK because of our geography, climate and lifestyle. As the historical town has spread, contemplation has to a degree turned to delirium - it is a fact of life.

This fact is shown in a number of ways, probably the most extreme case being the behaviour of English supporters at the European football championship recently. The greenfield or brownfield issues on density and layout are contemplative now, but in time will become delirious as cities expand and eventually overwhelm them. The real issue is urban regeneration first, and expansion second. Main arteries must provide more efficient transport services to all areas, old and new, in order that the quality of life is improved; whether it be for living, work or play and whatever the density.

Transport systems are so vital in regeneration that green or brownfield issues are only a temporary expedient while issues such as infrastructures are tackled and put into effect. The ability to work, rest and play satisfactorily must be the goal in all urban areas but I cannot visualise how this can be achieved without prioritising transport systems.

The debate must be centralised around transport rather than layouts to prevent politicians getting confused with comments like those from John Redwood on '60s development, which shows total ignorance of the problem.

Rex Hawkesworth, Hilsea, Hampshire

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