International Journal of
Sociology and Anthropology

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Sociol. Anthropol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-988X
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJSA
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 305

Full Length Research Paper

Does public space create social capital?

Akram M. Ijla
University of Palestine- Palestinian Territories, Palestine.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 30 January 2012
  •  Published: 29 February 2012



During recent years, the concept of social capital has become one of the most popular exports from sociological theory into everyday languages. Social capital has evolved into something of a cure-all for the maladies affecting society in all the countries around the world. The idea of social capital is particularly concerned with the cultivation of good well, fellowship, sympathy, and social intercourse among those that make up a social unit. Most recently, the idea of social capital has been the work of Robert (1993, 2000) who has lunched social capital as a focus for research and policy discussion. Although, scholars concentrate their efforts on the issue of social capital and its impact on societies and nations, this paper examines social capital in relation to other notable contributions from Henri (1991, 1996) who made links among urban life, social fabric, space in time, and social capital. This paper aims to figure out the issues involved in public spaces as representational spaces, and it also shed the light on the role of public spaces in creating social capital. “The city must be a place of transactions, encounters, festivities. Its spaces must not only reflect these functions; they must provide a stage upon which they can be visibly enacted.” This paper utilizes content analysis methodology as an approach to analyzing ideas generated in the field of social capital and theories in urban planning.


Key words: Public space, social capital, urban design.