Fairmount Stories


Fairmount Stories: Mobility, Advocacy, and Environmental Justice

Fairmount Stories aims to address racial justice, air quality, and transit equity along the Fairmount Corridor, one of the designated Environmental Justice communities in Boston. The website was created in association with the Fairmount Indigo CDC Collaborative and Air Partners. Informed by values of trust, care, inclusion, and justice, this project aims to create community and support Environmental Justice advocacy efforts through multimedia storytelling and education.

Student-Led Research Project: Fairmount Stories began as the thesis of Riddhima Dave and Emerson Holloway, both Media Design graduate students at Emerson College.

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About the Project

An illustration of a Black woman standing on a Commuter Rail platform

Problem Space

The Fairmount Line branch of the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority Commuter Rail train serves as an essential transit resource for the Corridor but also becomes an environmental hazard due to diesel engines. Through participatory research we determined it was imperative for residents to be educated about the Fairmount Line’s negative impact.

Proposed Intervention

We sought to present a nuanced narrative that educates community members and potentially inspires action. Our proposed solution was an interactive narrative website highlighting the story of the Fairmount Line seen from an empowering perspective. The web-story divulges the train’s past, present, and potential futures and will support ongoing environmental justice advocacy efforts along the Corridor.

Social Impact

The purpose of this website and our project at large is to support the Fairmount Indigo CDC Collaborative in sharing the history of advocacy along the Fairmount Line and goals for the future of the Line — guided by climate justice, racial equity, economic justice, and transit equity — by visualizing relationships between people, their communities, transit, and air quality.

By speaking with members of the community, our team has been able to create a rich, nuanced image of the line. Our process took 8 months to complete — including field research, community connections, and resident interviews — and involved people from different streams with varied skills.


Logo image for Air PartnersLogo image for Fairmount Indigo CDC Collaborative

Project Team

  • Jasper Katzban — Site Design & Development
  • Riddhima Dave — Design & Communications Management
  • Emerson Holloway — Design & Communications Management
  • Jennifer J. Lee — Website Illustrations
  • Johnny Richardson — Lead Developer, Engagement Lab

The Fairmount Indigo CDC Collaborative and the Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation, including Andrealis Martinez and Kendra Beaver.

The Air Partners team at Olin College, including Scott Hersey and Francesca Majluf.

The Engagement Lab at Emerson College, including Eric Gordon and Rachele Gardner.

Project Contact

For inquiries about this project, please contact kbeaver@dbedc.org.