I would LOVE to see more fruit trees here in Burlington.
Definitely, we'd have to promote the ones that can grow in our climate (But that is quite a few - plums, cherries, apples, peaches [yes, peaches, I just learned that there is a variety that will grow and produce here...] In addition to trees as Mark is suggesting, I can imagine raspberry patches, blueberry bushes, etc.
Out in Eugene, OR, all along the running paths in the city, are wild blackberries - talk about incentive for going running!
Now, as to what might get in the way of having the city of Burlington sponsor or co-sponsor an initiative like this....
I am not a fruit farmer, so I have no idea what sort of maintenance and care would be needed to keep the fruit trees healthy, producing and vital. It may be that in order for there to be a worthwhile return (read: lots of fruit!) that there would be too much necessary time and financial investment for upkeep. (would people volunteer?) I do know that apple trees can be finicky. Another consideration is pests; to spray or not to spray? If we don't spray chemicals on the city's trees, then organic pest control methods will need to be utilized; this is, again, more expensive and time consuming. (In addition, does the city take care its non-fruiting landscaping without chemicals? probably not, so this means that even if fruit trees are not sprayed, they will be subject to the chemicals that are sprayed on it's neighboring bush or hedge or tree.) One other thought that I just had is that I imagine that fruit trees that are not fully picked over will tend to have a ton of rotting fruit below it (those crabapple trees we already have do that). This may or may not be seen as an issue - I can imagine that it would be.
BUT, I don't mean to be all negative. In typing this, I remember an E-town show (it's a live music radio show with a social action mission) that gave a community action award (An E-chievement Award) to a gentleman who created a non-profit group whose mission it was to distribute incredibly inexpensive or free fruit trees to neighborhoods and families. I'll try to find out more information on that, but I do think that bringing local even more local, as in neighborhoods and families, may be a way to encourage what you are talking about Mark. Imagine if neighborhoods or family backyards had fruit trees that groups of families could cooperatively manage, take responsibility for and then preserve, can, ferment, bake and cook for everyone!
It's not that I don't think that we wouldn't be able to effect changes for public land, the issues that I mentioned above are just my thoughts on things that might get in the way.
(And, by the way, the crabapple trees do fruit later in the summer/fall, and I've certainly harvested a few here and there - there are some great crabapple jams, pie filling recipes and country wines out there!)