Learn what the Action Model is and how it can help you redevelop your community. Find out how people around the country have used the Action Model to increase safety, lower crime, boost the economy, and improve the health of the people in their neighborhoods.
What’s having a negative impact on the health, safety, or happiness of people in your neighborhood, town, or city?
“We don’t have a park, so there’s no place for kids to play.”
“The sidewalks are all broken up, so older people can’t walk anywhere.”
“We have 3 abandoned buildings on my block, and I don’t feel safe anymore.”
“I don’t spend any time downtown, I just walk through it. There’s nothing to do and nothing to see.”
Since you’re reading this, you probably want to do something about problems like these. You want to make real, lasting changes in your community.
The Action Model will help. And this toolkit will teach you how to use it.
The Action Model is a grassroots tool for people like you.
You can use it to form a plan to improve health and quality of life, reduce risks, and boost pride in your community.
“We turned an abandoned lot into a community center and a park.”
“We were in a food desert, so we started our first community garden.”
“We rebuilt some crumbling buildings and brought in new businesses and jobs.”
“We moved a waste transfer center out of our downtown — and away from our homes and the riverfront.”
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, created the Action Model. ATSDR works to make communities healthier and protect people from harmful substances around them, like chemicals in old factories.
ATSDR experts designed the Action Model as a tool that anybody can use to improve their community. You don’t need a special educational background or past experience to make it work for you.
It has 4 steps. They’re all questions that you and your team can ask and answer. Select each one to learn more.
Your answers to these questions are the basis of your Action Model. Once you have your ideas down, you’re ready to start planning.
Here’s a video clip of an ATSDR expert talking about the 4 steps of the Action Model.
The Action Model can help your community with:
“We’re using the Action Model for our project because it works.” — Participant in Strong Cities, Strong Communities initiative.
The Action Model has a proven track record. It’s helped people across the country make big changes in their communities. People have used the Action Model to:
Here’s a video clip about the Baraboo Action Model project.
Sometimes, redevelopment (which can mean tearing down old buildings and putting up new ones) can have a bad effect on a neighborhood if the people who live there don’t get a say in the process.
If new construction splits up your neighborhood or offers your community something you don’t want, that’s not an improvement.
Using the Action Model will give you a voice in redevelopment. You can make sure any changes will really benefit your community.
Now that you know what the Action Model is, you can start using it. Here’s an overview of what to expect in the next sections of the toolkit.