Socio-spatial planning in the creation of bridging social capital: The importance of multifunctional centers for intergroup networks and integration

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Abstract

Social capital is about people who meet, get to know each other and help each other in various ways. Therefore, it appears odd that discussions on meeting places and social capital are rare. This paper discusses the linkage, here termed socio-spatial planning. It raises the question: How can public meeting places facilitate creation of bridging social capital? It suggests that one possible way of securing regular, intergroup face-to-face meetings would be to establish multifunctional centers. Such houses include public services such as health care, school, library; private enterprises as grocers’ shops and banks; and facilities for local associations such as theatre scenes and sports halls. Cases from the Netherlands and Denmark indicate that such large meeting places help counteract segregation of various groups – be it ethnic, social or age. In this way, a well-functioning multifunctional center facilitates provision of the collective goods of integration and bridging social capital.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Social Inquiry
Volume3
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)45-74
Number of pages30
ISSN1596-1109
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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