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Research Publications > Conferences and Symposiums > Building Bonds and Bridges

Abstract

Economically distressed communities often face an array of barriers related to affordable housing, job training, business development, and inadequate food systems. Local community organizations that seek to address these issues have long been considered a cornerstone of sustainable development. But the complexity of place-based challenges—including increasing income inequality and generational poverty—has made the practice of community development more difficult than perhaps ever before. One approach to addressing these issues is the leverage of trust, norms, and social networks to increase the efficacy of community development programs. This paper explores how North Carolina’s community development ecosystem uses these social capital tools to promote local economic improvements. Drawing on data from semi-structured interviews with 22 leaders from the state’s development community, we find substantial evidence that organizations are engaging in place-based social capital strategies.

Why This Matters

Organizations that seek to address barriers facing economically distressed communities have long been considered a cornerstone of sustainable development policy. But the complexity of place-based challenges – including increasing income inequality and generational poverty – has made the practice of community development more difficult than perhaps ever before. One approach to addressing these issues is the leverage of trust, norms, and social networks to increase the efficacy of community development programs.  Drawing on data from semi-structured interviews, this paper explores how North Carolina’s community development ecosystem uses social capital to promote local economic improvements.

Suggested Citation

Berner, Maureen, Brown-Graham, Anita, McCall, Jamie, Morgan, Jonathan, Mulligan, Tyler, Floyd, Nathalie, Hatton, Christopher, and Alice Mahood. 2019. “Building Bonds and Bridges (and Leveraging Links): A Place-Based Mobility Strategy Based on Social Capital Creation.” Presented at the bi-annual Federal Reserve Community Development Research Conference, Washington, DC, 10 May 2019. https://doi.org/10.46712/building-bridges-bonds.

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