Importance The article overviews key aspects of social capital as a driver of spatial socio-economic development. Objectives The research describes the principal issues and prospects that may arise as social capital evolves. I also examine key mechanisms for utilization of human capital and satisfaction of the public socio-economic needs. Methods I apply a systems approach and elements of structural and functional analysis, adhering to general scientific principles for generalizing the main areas of social reality studies as set forth by P. Bourdieu, R.D. Putnam, J. Coleman, A. Maslow, F. Herzberg. Results I infer the following pattern. The more the public needs, the higher the development level of social capital. I classify key factors of trends in social capital development at the macro-, meso- and microlevel. Each level of social capital application is found to inflict some issues, which shall be addressed to ensure the favorable development of spatial systems. Conclusions and Relevance Social capital and its development basically shape the nature of socio-economic changes since they constitute a set of factors determining the way all public subsystems operate. Social capital is indispensable without the formation of the public needs pursuing an increment in publicly important benefits, intensification of positive social factors, elimination of principal issues of social capital development as part of territorial systems.
Keywords: needs, socio-economic development, social capital, human capital
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