In this article we provide a conceptual and argumentative framework for studying how Area Based Initiatives (ABIs) can facilitate contact between networks in deprived neighborhoods and external forms of power (linking social capital). These relations provide the residents and other members of civil society with crucial access for leveraging resources, ideas and information. Although few studies of linking social capital have been carried out in relation to urban regeneration, there is empirical evidence that suggests that it can play a positive role for establishing trust and relations between civil society and a municipality. We set out with a critical review of how social capital literature has been applied in an urban context, and then demonstrate empirical examples from Denmark of how, in different contexts (village, town, city), the ABIs have facilitated processes that generated different forms of social capital (bridging, bonding, linking). The article concludes that the ABIs contribute to creating linking social capital, but the degree of the contribution depends on the level of bonding and bridging social capital in the area. We argue that public planners as well as evaluators of the ABIs, should increase their awareness about the potentials of the ABI as creating linking social capital in deprived neighborhoods.