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Brownfields & Reuse Opportunity Working Network (BROWN) Community Partnerships Project

What is the Community Partnerships Project?

ATSDR’s Brownfields & Reuse Opportunity Working Network (BROWN) has a wide range of expertise that can help community’s shape redevelopment plans to include community health improvements. Basically, the Community Partnerships concept is a conversational brainstorm. The ATSDR Land Reuse Team or individual BROWN members can share among the entire BROWN network an overview of a community that is seeking some assistance to create a revitalization vision. Additional BROWN members can provide a rapid “blitz” opinion, based on their expertise, of projects that can be implemented to help the community move towards this vision.

How Can a Community Participate in a Community Partnership?

In 2014-2016, the ATSDR Land Reuse Team will facilitate up to 10 Community Partnerships projects. We hope to provide technical assistance to one community in each of the 10 ATSDR Regions on a first-come-first-serve basis. If we do not have individual requests from each of the 10 Regions, we can work with communities that request assistance within the same regions. Eventually, we hope to expand the Community Partnerships projects to become a routine activity of our Brownfields/Land Reuse Health Initiative.

ATSDR or BROWN members may already have been working with the community or would like to work with a community. As long as the community feels ready to commit to a revitalization vision, they can participate in a Community Partnership. These guidelines can help a community determine if they are ready to participate:

  1. Community characterizes themselves in terms of socio-demographic status
  2. Community has at least one potentially contaminated site believed to present exposures (or harm) to the population
  3. Community provides a summary of environmental and health concerns related to the site(s) and a specific request for assistance
  4. Community has a dedicated group of partners invested in revitalization and can demonstrate some successes in this effort

Contact the ATSDR Land Reuse Team to get started!
Laurel Berman, 312-886-7476
Leann Bing, 404-562-1784
Gary Perlman, 617-918-1492

Community Partnerships Assistance Request Form [PDF - 125 KB]

Tell us about your community! Please fill this form to help us learn how we can assist you. Send us the completed form via e-mail to

What Happens When a Partnership is Formed?

The ATSDR Land Reuse Team or other ATSDR representatives will provide community requests, concerns, and background information to the BROWN network for review. Available BROWN members will provide resources and technical assistance to the Land Reuse Team. The Land Reuse Team will compile the results in a brief summary and provide it to the community in the Community Partnership. In addition, the results may be used as outreach examples to help other communities.

Will the BROWN Network Support Additional Projects in the Future?

Depending on the outcomes of the initial projects, the BROWN network may continue to participate in Community Partnerships projects over the next several years. One idea we have is community-to-community partnerships, in which a community that has had a successful revitalization strategy may want to assist another community.