Drumul Taberei (Bucharest) During Construction in 1968 -
Quality problems
/ Photos © by Dan Dimancescu

Seen from afar the work was impressive in scale. Seen from close-up the project fell short in the detail, quality of material, and execution from the very start. The photos above are of new buildings in 1968. Weeds appeared quickly. Bricks crumbled or simply fell out. Cracks remained unsealed. Concrete flaked. Ultimately, residents developed a 'not my problem' attitude towards their housing blocs. Public spaces were neglected. Any sense of shared responsibility vanished, a negative ethic that made the transition to post-Communist all the more difficult. People refused to accept common responsibility for shared spaces. This is a problem of public housing experienced worlwide.