Social Capital, Urban Sprawl and Smart Growth Discussion Paper

Sustainable development in Canada and the parallels between social capital, urban sprawl, and counter sprawl movements.

CRC Discussion Paper, Number 3
Social Capital, Urban Sprawl, and Smart Growth for sustainable communities in Canada

Rebecca Osolen and Nina-Maria Lister Social Capital, Urban Sprawl, and Smart Growth: A preliminary investigation into sustainable communities in Canada

Social capital makes possible local mobilisation for sustainability goals, the spread of norms that support environmental consciousness and public participation and the reconciliation of interests between citizens, government, NGOs and the private sector.

In this review of the literature, the value of social capital for environmental management, sustainable development policy, and activism is documented through a number of studies. The ways in which social capital is employed to mobilise key players and catalyse community sustainable development efforts is explored. Following this, the issue of sprawl, one of the major challenges for sustainable development is examined. Parallels are drawn between social capital, sprawl, and counter sprawl movements.

“It is very clear that the obstacles to sustainability are not technical or even economic: they are social, institutional and political” Canadian Institute for International Peace and Security