Social capital in action in urban environments: an intersection of theory, research and practice literature

Paranagamage, Primali and Austin, Simon and Price, Andrew and Khandokar, Fahmida (2010) Social capital in action in urban environments: an intersection of theory, research and practice literature. Journal of Urbanism, 3 (3). pp. 231-252. ISSN 1754-9175

Full content URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17549175.2010.526374

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Abstract

This paper attempts to widen our understanding of the relationship between social capital and the physical environment through an exploration of the intersection of theory, urban design practitioner guidance and empirical research on social capital that considers the
built environment as a variable. Theory suggests that social capital in a neighbourhood
can grow over time, and that stability of residency and opportunity for social interaction can help to establish the bonds, bridges and networks that build trust and participation.
The content analysis of a selection of literature on urban design guidance revealed
12 recurrent attributes that help people to live, work and relax and thus encourage formal or informal interaction and longer-term residency in the area in which they live, and
hence the growth of social capital. As urban design guidance does not use such a term, these attributes were substantiated through reference to empirical research and social capital theory. This exercise gives a better understanding of then specificities of environmental variables, aiding our conceptualization of social capital. If we aspire to
assessment tools that incorporate knowledge of predictable relationships between the variables concerned, then it becomes clear there is a long way to go in developing our understanding of the interplay of urban development and social capital.

Keywords:Architecture, urban development, social capital, urban design attributes, intersection of theory research and practice guidance
Subjects:K Architecture, Building and Planning > K421 Urban Planning
K Architecture, Building and Planning > K110 Architectural Design Theory
K Architecture, Building and Planning > K440 Urban studies
K Architecture, Building and Planning > K100 Architecture
K Architecture, Building and Planning > K450 Housing
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Architecture & Design > School of Architecture & Design (Architecture)
ID Code:8306
Deposited On:23 Mar 2013 10:36

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