Date of Award

Spring 2015

Document Type

Open Access Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Art (BA)


Erin O'Brien

Subject Categories

Urban Studies


Historic growth in Boston, Massachusetts, belies dramatic gaps in socio-economic status among residents and corresponding increases in health disparities between low income and more affluent Boston neighborhoods. The Fairmount/Indigo Planning Initiative Corridor Plan is a renewed investment in Boston’s poorest communities that may potentially tackle these inequities. The plan aims to link neighborhoods that are cut off from downtown to the heart of the city. Such investment in rapid transit may combat the spatial isolation found to negatively affect health outcomes but similar transportation upgrades in other American cities have been associated with gentrification and displacement (Pollack et al, 2010). As such, the Fairmount/Indigo plan’s impact on health disparities in Boston is not so straightforward. This project focuses on the Upham’s Corner Station Area plan because it is primed for some of the largest developments along the Indigo line. While the station area planning process and proposal utilized community participation to create a holistic strategy, the plan failed to investigate the health effects of the project. Applying an ecosocial framework, my research offers improvements to the plan that better takes into account the potential perverse effects of gentrification and displacement on health outcomes.

Included in

Urban Studies Commons