Article/journal, Innovation, Innovation Policy Lab, Munk School

Urban governance and civic capital: analysis of an evolving concept

This article argues that the concept of civic capital affords considerable insight into systems of urban economic development, usefully bridging gaps in both institution-centric and social capital approaches. While the concept has been applied in the literature on urban governance and economic development, its use has been fragmentary and has not seen broad engagement. This review of the state of the literature situates the concept of civic capital relative to existing literature in the field, highlights its relationship to other concepts, and reviews several qualitative approaches that apply the concept to case studies. It provides an overview of the concept and a description of the way it has developed alongside the rich literature on governance and social capital in urban development to illustrate its potential for further analytical study.