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.

From 2014-2017, the ATSDR Land Reuse Team facilitated seven Community Partnerships projects in the US and formed one North American-European Land Reuse Working Group partnership. With BROWN, we provided consultative and technical assistance to these communities. Currently we are summarizing the results of these pilots and will post outcomes soon. Eventually, we hope to expand the Community Partnerships projects to become a routine activity of our Land Reuse Health Program.

How Can a Community Participate in a Community Partnership?

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

Will BROWN Support Additional Projects in the Future?

Depending on the outcomes of the initial projects, BROWN 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. Check back here for updates.

Page last reviewed: April 22, 2021