Nye Bevan Commons 2

2. Reconstitution

Building Height Floors
Built Demolished
Norbury Court 54.80m 20 Concrete 1972 1993
Ambergate Court 54.80m 20 Concrete 1970 1993
Bakewell Court 54.80m 20 Concrete 1970 1995
Repton Court 54.80m 20 Concrete 1968 1995

The stored social memories of Ambergate Court, Bakewell Court, Norbury Court and Repton Court are relocated in a flatpack version of modernity, with new cells of compartmentalised privacy and mass consumption, without the utopianism of high modernity.
This is now the identi-kit module of social housing in a modernity of convenience, no longer the exclusive domain of Welfare State public housing but hybridised with the entry of the public sector into the private market through the 'right to buy' clause. Whilst social housing remains a key site for the reproduction of labour, its role is re-purposed in a reconstituted modernity to produce new relations between capital and community. It is a form of modernity that softens the hard granularity of old community, making it porous, easily penetrable to new realities of market exchange.


This working site of a contemporary reconstruction of community finds itself through notions of resilience and sustainability. It opens up narratives of social self-production and social ecologies growing out of the stump of an amputated high modernity in a new equation between market, society and nature. With this the notion of a 'sustainable city' enters community.
The sustainable city is a concept which in its turn brings contradictions as deep as high modernity, ecology mediated through mass consumption whilst at the same time creating a counter-movement of emancipatory social practices.

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