Journal Article

People, partnerships and human progress: building community capital*

Trevor Hancock

in Health Promotion International

Volume 16, issue 3, pages 275-280
Published in print September 2001 | ISSN: 0957-4824
Published online September 2001 | e-ISSN: 1460-2245 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/heapro/16.3.275
People, partnerships and human progress: building community capital*

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The Victorian-era journal The Sanitarian used on its masthead the slogan ‘A nation's health is a nation's wealth'. Today, we are re-discovering that wisdom, recognizing that health is indeed a form of wealth. Moreover, we are beginning to understand that wealth is not merely our economic capital, but includes three other forms of capital—social, natural and human capital. Health is one key element of human capital. A healthy community is one that has high levels of social, ecological, human and economic ‘capital', the combination of which may be thought of as ‘community capital'. The challenge for communities in the 21st century will be to increase all four forms of capital simultaneously. This means working with suitable partners in the private sector, making human development the central purpose of governance, and more closely integrating social, environmental and economic policy. Community gardens, sustainable transportation systems and energy conservation programmes in community housing projects are some of the ways in which we can build community capital.

Keywords: healthy community; partnerships; social capital; sustainable development

Journal Article.  3503 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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