Sustainable Devens

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Star Communities
Devens, A Community of Mass Development

Devens Eco-Efficiency CenterLOC Exteriors
Entrance to Fort Devens
Residential street in Devens
Devens lake

Industrial Ecology

The Devens Reuse Plan defined sustainability at Devens as "development which achieves a balance of economic, social and environmental needs, while maintaining and enhancing the natural resource base" (Vanasse Brustlin 1994). The result of this early planning was a vision for what sustainability means to Devens, its residents, users and the involved public bodies: "the thoughtful and careful redevelopment of the base for the purpose of promoting economic development, social welfare, environmental protection, and natural resources." The DEC has since incorporated a number of strategies to achieve a more sustainable approach to redevelopment of Devens.

  • Devens recognized for National Excellence and awarded 4-STAR Sustainability Rating from STAR Communities
  • STAR Communities evaluates the livability and sustainability of US communities. After almost a year of data collection and reporting, Devens has received third-party verification from STAR that is redeveloping and operating in a sustainable manner. Read the Full Press Release here.

  • DEC Releases Pilot Study by Tufts University on Biometric Tools for Planning
  • The DEC recently partnered with Tufts University Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning on an innovative research project: "Seeing the 'Unseen' in Devens: A Biometric Pilot-Study to Better Understand the 'Unconscious' Human Experience at Devens, Massachusetts". The study looks at how people unconsciously respond to different elements of the built environment, using one of the newest residential developments in Devens as a case study. Read the full report here.

  • Devens Nominated for the Prestigious Gothenburg Award for Sustainable Development
  • The redevelopment of Devens as a model of sustainable development and implementation of the circular economy has been nominated for this international award that is given each year for outstanding performance and achievements towards a sustainable future.
    Read the Full Press Release here.

  • Take a Sustainability Tour of Devens
    See some examples of the social, economic and environmental aspects that make Devens and the businesses and organizations here more sustainable.
  • Devens Eco Efficiency Center
    The Devens Eco-Efficiency Center provides education, technical assistance, networking forums, and partnership opportunities that help local establishments make better use of resources and achieve triple bottom line – economic, environmental and social – benefits. Learn about the non-profit's programs and services that promote sustainable business practices and how your facility can benefit from them.
  • Eco-Industrial Development (EID) in Devens
    Devens is a former Army base being redeveloped as an eco-industrial park and a model of sustainable development by the MassDevelopment Finance Agency (MDFA) and the Devens Enterprise Commission (DEC). Learn more about what eco-industrial development is and how it is helping meet the sustainable redevelopment goals of the Devens Reuse Plan.
  • “Living Green:” Resources for Devens Residents and Businesses
    Infill Redevelopment and Brownfields
    Light and Noise Pollution
    – Invasive plants in Devens: Identifying, managing and eliminating Autumn Olive and Bittersweet in Devens.
    SAVE WATER! Learn more about actions residents and businesses can take indoors and outdoors to reduce water use in Devens.
    Green Infrastructure Guidelines for Devens Projects
    Devens Regional Household Hazardous Products Collection Center
          Devens HHW Flyer
          What to Bring
    Recycling Guidance for Devens Businesses and Residents
    Composting in your Backyard
    The Benefits of Street Trees
    Tips for Greening Your Historic Home
    Devens Low-Impact Development Case Study 2010
  • – How to Eat Healthy: As part of the Devens Healthy Communities Proclamation, the DEC is providing residents and businesses with resources on food safety and how to eat healthy.
  • Devens Green Infrastructure Guidelines
    In Devens, where and how you build is just as important as what you build. This document provides applicants with an overview of what Green Infrastructure is, the local incentives and guidance on how to strategically locate and incorporate Green Infrastructure into projects to meet multiple regulatory requirements within the DEC Rules and Regulations. Download your free copy here.
  • DEC Adopts Healthy Communities Proclamation
    Recognizing the link between community planning and public health, at its November 7, 2013 meeting, the Devens Enterprise Commission (DEC) unanimously adopted a resolution entitled: "PLANNING FOR A HEALTHIER FUTURE THROUGH THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND COMMUNITY DESIGN". This resolution recognizes that what we build is important, but how and where we build is equally important and can directly influence the day to day activities that impact our public health. The DEC issued a press release that describes how the proclamation furthers the sustainable redevelopment goals of Devens. View the complete proclamation here.
  • DEC Releases Health Impact Assessment Report 10-20-14
    Building on the sustainable redevelopment goals of the Devens Reuse Plan, in the Spring of 2014, the DEC undertook a study to evaluate how land use planning and design decisions can influence public health outcomes. The following report summarizes the results of this study. The DEC will use the results of this study to help educate and raise awareness of the connections between planning and public health in future development in Devens.
    Grant Road HIA Executive Summary
    Grant Road HIA Final Report
  • Devens Sustainable Housing Project
    Learn how MassDevelopment planned a project to help achieve the Governor's goal of moving toward zero net energy development in the Commonwealth while making the connection between housing, social equity, economic development and energy efficiency. The March 2013 edition of Solar Today magazine (starting on page 22) features this project as a great example of the new wave (smart wave) of residential building. In addition to sustainable building design and construction, the project features cluster and low-impact development techniques that further reduce the environmental impacts of this development. Read more about how these innovative homes were designed and constructed as a model for new housing in Massachusetts.
  • EDA Triple Bottom Line Devens Case Study
    The US Economic Development Administration (EDA), in conjunction with Portland State University, the University of Arizona, and The Reinvestment Fund, created The Triple Bottom Line Tool to help optimize investments for economic, environmental, and social impact – what's referred to as the triple bottom line or TBL. Throughout 2012-2014, investors, economic development professionals, and decision-makers were able to use the TBL Tool to evaluate social, economic and environmental investment considerations. Devens, as an Eco-Industrial Park redevelopment project, was featured as a case study as part of this tool because of its triple bottom-line approach to sustainable development. Devens is the only case study that spans all six of the economic development types listed in the TBL case studies. Click here to view the Devens case study. Funding for the TBL Tool ( expired in Late 2014 so the tool is currently not active but the Devens case study is still a great example of the triple-bottom-line successes of the redevelopment of Devens to date. For more information on Devens redevelopment, contact
  • Devens Goes from Khaki to Green: Public/Private Partnership Benefits Former Army Base
  • Devens Sustainable Indicators Reports