Communities, Culture, and Capabilities

For the "CultureBlocks Philadelphia" project, SIAP and The Reinvestment Fund with the City Office of Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy (OACEE) developed a multi-dimensional index of social wellbeing for the city. This paper reports early findings of a two-year study of social wellbeing, neighborhood transformation, and the arts, with support by the Surdna Foundation to build on the CultureBlocks research and expand the work to other cities. The team used new data on Philadelphia to investigate ways in which two capabilities—economic wellbeing and social connection—influence four others—social stress, personal health, school effectiveness, and security. The appendix provides preliminary comparative data on four cities under study: Philadelphia, Austin, New York City, and Seattle. The paper was prepared for the Human Development and Capabilities Association September 2014 conference in Athens, Greece on the theme “Human Development in Times of Crisis: Renegotiating Social Justice.”


Submissions from 2014


Communities, Culture, and Capabilities: Preliminary Results of a Four-­City Study, Mark J. Stern and Susan C. Seifert