I am writing in response to your article on socialist-era housing ["Socialist-era housing threatens residents," By Chris Togneri, Vol. 5 No. 42, November 8-15]. My wife grew up in Petržalka in the 1970's and 1980's, and remembers it as a great place to be a kid. I lived there for three months in 1995, and couldn't wait to move out to a more, ahem, salubrious part of town.
It seems to me that trying to patch up the paneláky [housing estates built in the communist era] is a major mistake. Once you overcome the problem with the 'hooks,' some other flaw will emerge to threaten the structures. These buildings are the architectural equivalent of advanced cancer. No amount of therapy is going to help.
The answer is blindingly obvious. Tear them down and replace them with something approaching housing.
Who's going to pay? That's a very interesting question, as the politicians say.
Belfast, Northern Ireland
15. Nov 1999 at 0:00