Fitchburg Vacant Lots

At a Glance:

Location: Fitchburg, Massachusetts

Date: 2013

Vital Condition: Basic Needs for Health and Safety, Belonging and Civic Muscle, Meaningful Work and Wealth, Reliable Transportation

Determinants of Health: food access, neighborhood safety, nutrition, belonging and civic muscle, meaningful work and wealth, active transportation, physical activity, built environment

Affected Population: Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, People Living in Poverty

Research Methods: Primary research, Literature review, Focus Groups

Community Types: urban

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The City of Fitchburg, along with the Montachusett Opportunity Council, the Montachusett Regional Planning Council, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and Fun ‘n FITchburg, conducted a health impact assessment (HIA) that examined the City of Fitchburg’s proposals for the redevelopment of vacant lots around the city. The city considered several strategies for the lots, including zoning reform to allow for urban agriculture such as community gardens, farmers markets, and tree farms; rain gardens and off-street parking with permeable surfaces for stormwater management; and zoning reform or other policy options to allow development of community cultural spaces.

The report concluded that the vacant lots should be developed according to the needs of the neighborhoods in which they are located. It recommended that Fitchburg improve security in each neighborhood by building fences or barriers, ensuring that converted lots are well-lit, and increasing police presence.

This Health Impact Assessment Report first appeared in The Cross-Sector Toolkit for Health. The Cross-Sector Toolkit for Health was originally developed by the Health Impact Project, formerly a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts. The creation of this resource was supported by a grant from the Health Impact Project. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Pew Charitable Trusts, or the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Assessment Reports

Fitchburg Health Impact Assessment

Fitchburg Health Impact Assessment

This is a summary of a health impact assessment that was conducted to examine the proposals for the redevelopment of vacant lots in the City of Fitchburg, Massa...

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