Sustainable redevelopment in Fitchburg: A collaborative faculty-students-community engaged project

Thumbnail Image
Mani, Nirajan
Chenot, D. Keith
Issue Date
Conference paper
Faculty-students-community engaged projects , Collaboration , Service learning
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Journal Issue
Alternative Title

Collaborative faculty-students-community engaged (FSCE) projects with strong pedagogical and innovative service-learning approaches can dramatically transform and expand higher education and curriculum outcomes. FSCE projects provide a platform for concerned stakeholders to share knowledge and learning opportunities by integrating community serving, which in many cases improves the quality and productivity of instruction. These projects focus on issues and can ultimately contribute to the wellbeing of the community. This paper focuses on a pilot study of the City of Fitchburg in Massachusetts, a 19th century industrial center that has now, like many other New England early mill towns, lost manufacturing and its base economy to other states and countries with lower labor costs. The infrastructure built over the last two centuries has stayed the same or is deteriorating and now needs to be repurposed and given a thoughtful upgrade. There are many critical factors that can be analyzed and addressed to make this city a better community to live, study, and work in. By conducting a pilot study, this paper identifies major issues and analyzes existing scenario of community connectivity involving concerned local stakeholders. The authors propose a research framework to conduct a FSCE project by collaborating with concerned stakeholders and community design experts. This paper presents three case studies where Fitchburg State University's faculty and undergraduate students were actively involved in the redesign of various city related projects that represent the significance of this type of collaborative and integrative faculty-students-community engaged project for enhancing community-engaged learning opportunities for undergraduate students.

Published in SOAR: Shocker Open Access Repository by Wichita State University Libraries Technical Services, December 2022.
The IEMS'20 conference committee: Wichita State University, College of Engineering (Sponsor); Gamal Weheba (Conference Chair); Hesham Mahgoub (Program Chair); Dalia Mahgoub (Technical Director); Ron Barrett-Gonzalez (Publications Editor)
Mani, N., Chenot, D.K. (2020). Sustainable redevelopment in Fitchburg: A collaborative faculty-students-community engaged project. Proceedings of the 2020 IEMS Conference, 26, 107-113.
Industry, Engineering & Conference Management Systems Conference
PubMed ID
2690-3210 (print)
2690-3229 (online)