This research investigates how social capital can contribute to best practice urban planning outcomes. Using the conceptual framework of social capital, specifically the composite lens of bonding, bridging and linking social capital, resident perspectives on their neighbourhood were measured in a middle class socio-economic suburban neighbourhood on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia. This framework was selected as studies have demonstrated that analysis of the types of social networks, the level of civic participation and the trust embedded in relationships can indicate the sustainability of a particular community. The density of bonding social capital contributes to social resilience within communities, and the existence and quality of bridging and linking social capital indicates the level of ability of a community to adapt and develop. These are also characteristics of communities with a strong sense of place identity, local economic growth and innovation—factors that are often associated with sustainable development.
Submitted in the fulfilment of the requirements of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, University of the Sunshine Coast, 2016.