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Community Capital: Its Sources and Functions in Communities of Heart

4 min read

The expansion of community capital is a means of sustained community renewal. Community capital incorporates three elements that are found in or holds the potential to be found in any community of heart: Natural, Human and Social, Financial and Institutional.

Natural Capital

The community is located in a natural environment that is beautiful and filled with yet untouched natural resources. The community may have (and often will have) a history of significant exploitation of natural resources (e.g. lumber, mining, agriculture) and often is faced with major challenges regarding the repairing of the natural resources that have been exploited and replacing revenues generated by this exploitation. Yet, it is committed to building a sustainable natural environment and recognizes that much of the distinctive appeal of this community for those who live in the community or visit the community (as tourists) comes from this natural environment.

Human and Social Capital

The community is actively engaged in one or more initiatives that helps to expand the presence of and use of human and social (connectiveness) capital to address the pressing issues and needs of the community. Human and social capital is expanded and engaged through educational programs, appreciation of existing (but previously unacknowledged or non-engaged) expertise, skills, knowledge, motivation and wisdom in the community.

Financial and Institutional Capital

The community is actively considering or is already making use of its financial resources (community banks, community foundations, government-funded demonstration projects, etc.) and is actively considering or is already creating collaborative initiatives involving major institutions in the community (education, health, human services, churches, etc.)

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