What Is the Meaning of Social Infrastructure?

Social infrastructure consists of the social connections and the organizations and services that build them in a community. Strong social infrastructures create strong communities with resilience and the foundations for growth in both economic capital and social justice.

Eric Klinenberg, a sociology professor at New York University, states that a viable social infrastructure encourages people to form connections in their neighborhoods and greater communities. Components of a viable social infrastructure include friendly small businesses, gathering places, community events, and both organized and informal activities. Communities with limited social infrastructure fare poorly during emergency situations. The lack of social bonds between residents decreases social support opportunities and leads to community members isolating themselves. Adding inviting parks, community gardening projects, organized family-centered playground events and regular neighborhood meet-ups improves the social infrastructure and the community's potential.