BROWN Assistance and Partnership Fact Sheets
Driving through the outskirts of any urban area, you see vacant lots, old buildings, and industrial sites no longer in use. Of course, these locations are a blight on the community, but did you ever wonder whether the old structures could be torn down and the rubbish removed? Did you even consider whether a local business or civic organization could clean up and re-use the property?
These types of properties actually have a name: “brownfields.” ATSDR includes brownfields like these among “land reuse” sites—sites that are slated for redevelopment but may have chemical contamination or sites exempted from the 2002 CERCLA amendment, such as Superfund sites.
The Brownfields & Reuse Opportunity Working Network (BROWN) is a group of ATSDR partners who are experts in community redevelopment. They help our National Brownfields/Land Reuse Health Program support communities who have a vision of revitalization that makes health a priority.
In 2014, BROWN created the “community partnerships” concept to provide an opportunity to connect with other communities working toward this goal. The ATSDR Land Reuse Team or individual BROWN members can focus on a community that needs help developing their vision and identifying projects that can move them toward it. Our goal is to implement the safe reuse of potentially contaminated land into community assets (e.g., children’s playlots, health clinics, community centers, grocery stores with a wide range of produce, and others) that improve overall community health.
As of 2019, the ATSDR Land Reuse Team had facilitated seven community partnership projects in the United States and formed one North American-European Brownfields Working Group partnership. With BROWN, we provided consultation and technical assistance to these communities. Some of them applied for and received funding or leveraged other assets, such as partnering with environmental professionals to create professional redevelopment plans and hosting community visioning sessions, working together to accomplish important steps in their process. Here is BROWN’s assistance resource: BROWN Land Reuse and Redevelopment Handbook pdf icon[PDF – 19 MB]. Read on to see how these communities have achieved success in working toward their goals. https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/sites/brownfields/partnerships_project.html