This article identifies an opportunity to reinvigorate our theoretical understanding of community well-being at the neighbourhood scale as increasing numbers of cities around the world turn their attention to neighbourhood scale redevelopment of model sustainable communities. We identify three primary theoretical axes for this reinvention of the notion of the neighbourhood scale community, all oriented toward a philosophical approach derived from American pragmatism. First is the reorientation of older ideas of the political project of building the Great Society toward an alternative project of building the Great Community, via the work of “commoning,” which respects the value of diversity, democratic participation and communication. Second is the work of not merely placemaking but also politically constituting the public sphere within public spaces at the neighbourhood scale. Third and finally is the reinvention of our theories of social and political engagement in the public sphere as not only serving representative democratic process, nor distinguishing simply between classes of active versus inactive participants in public life, but as identifying the actual regimes of engagement directing and mediating participation in the neighbourhood community sphere.