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60 Examples of Social Infrastructure

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Social infrastructure are foundational services and structures that support the quality of life of a nation, region, city or neighborhood. This includes any infrastructure that goes beyond basic economic functions to make a community an appealing place to live. The following are common examples.
After-school programs
Basketball courts
Bicycle lanes
Bicycle parking
Childcare facilities
Clock towers
Community centers
Community colleges
Community gardens
Community kitchens
Concert halls
Counseling centers
Cultural centers
Disaster shelters
Dog parks
Event spaces
Health clinics
Historical sites
Homeless shelters
Mental health clinics
Nature reserves
Nursing homes
Pedestrian infrastructure
Performance theaters
Picnic areas
Piers and boardwalks
Play streets
Public fountains
Public housing
Public markets & farmers markets
Public squares
Public transportation
Recreation centers
Riverside walkways & parks
Senior centers
Skate parks
Sports facilities
Sports fields
State and national parks
Swimming pools
Tennis courts
Train lines
Train stations
Waterfront promenades
Youth centers

Social Infrastructure vs Hard Infrastructure

Social infrastructure is the foundation for the quality of life of a place. This is mostly high level services such as a hospital, university or museum. Hard infrastructure are the low level physical foundations of a nation or city such as roads, bridges and electrical grids. Social infrastructure relates specifically to quality of life while hard infrastructure supports both economic production and quality of life. As the term suggests, hard infrastructure is mostly physical while social infrastructure are high level systems and services.


Social infrastructure are the shared spaces, facilities, systems and services that support the quality of life of a society, state, region or city. This includes areas such as healthcare, education, housing, civic institutions, safety, security, public space, recreation and culture.


Social infrastructure includes all the shared services, spaces and facilities that underlie the stability and well-being of a society. These aren't directly economic but are characteristic of highly developed nations that can found, grow and attract world-class companies. The following are common examples of social infrastructure.
Definition: Social Infrastructure
Foundational services and structures that support the quality of life of a nation, region or city.
Related Concepts
Next: Public Space
More about social infrastructure:
Common Resources
Public Goods
Public Services
Public Space
Quality Of Life
Social Opportunity
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