Fitchburg Vacant Lots

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Health Impact Project

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.

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Resources & Tools

First page of the document Fitchburg Health Impact Assessment
Fitchburg Health Impact Assessment
Resource - Assessment