Social Capital:What it is and why it matters for creating an Age-friendly Philadelphia
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On Tuesday June 16th Generation Appreciation Philadelphia hosted its first lunchtime talk at the United Way. The event featured Allen Glicksman, Ph.D., Director of Research and Evaluation at Philadelphia Corporation for Aging. Much of his work focuses on understanding the effect of the environment on the lives of older persons. This is part of a larger agenda at PCA to better understand the impact of social capital on the lives of older persons and the community at large so that we can identify ways to make neighborhoods more age-friendly.
“Social capital” is a term coming into vogue in discussions about building stronger communities and ensuring vibrant neighborhoods in our cities. One definition of “social capi-tal” is a description of and a way to measure feelings of trust and belonging among residents of a neighborhood. These feelings of connectedness are critical for building strong communities which in turn are the building blocks of a pros-pering urban center. This talk explained the concept of social capital, demonstrated its importance to our city, and served as platform for a brief group discussion on ways that we, as city residents and professionals, can help create an urban environment that is supportive of people of all ages.