Institute for Local Self Reliance

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Introduction to ILSR

The Institute’s mission is to provide innovative strategies, working models and timely information to support environmentally sound and equitable community development. To this end, ILSR works with citizens, activists, policymakers and entrepreneurs to design systems, policies and enterprises that meet local or regional needs; to maximize human, material, natural and financial resources; and to ensure that the benefits of these systems and resources accrue to all local citizens.

Since 1974, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance has been working to enable communities with tools to increase economic effectiveness, reduce wastes, decrease environmental impacts and provide for local ownership of the infrastructure and resources essential for community well-being.

Notable Resource

Success & Change in ILSR's Building Deconstruction Program 
There has been continued expansion of building deconstruction in federal programs, the private sector and the community development sector. ILSR’s role has changed from one of a general contractor to one of a facilitator, using the talents of trainers and entrepreneurs to advance deconstruction in the U.S. Read more about our changing focus
Press Release - May 3, 2010 Breaking the Broadband Monopoly
How Communities Are Building the Networks They Need : This May 2010 report is the most comprehensive and up-to-date analysis looking at publicly owned broadband networks. Across the country, hundreds of local governments, public power utilities, non-profits, and cooperatives have built successful and sometimes pioneering telecommunication networks that put community needs first. The study provides details on their successes, lessons learned, and illuminates barriers to copying the models. Executive Summary
Municipal Energy Financing
Lessons Learned : Twenty states now allow cities and counties to finance energy efficiency retrofits and on-site renewable energy generation and repay the loan with a property tax assessment. Five municipalities launched Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs in the past two years and these programs have spent $37.5 million to help enable close to 2,000 voluntary residential retrofits. This May 2010 report looks at how these programs have performed, identifies potential obstacles and offers up-and-coming PACE programs some potential solutions to the hurdles. Executive Summary

New Rules Project

A program of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, the New Rules Project started back in 1998 and continues to bring fresh new policy solutions to communities and states to ensure that they are "designing rules as if community matters".

The New Rules Projects features a number of policy areas and several key programs and initiatives, including: The Hometown Advantage, Telecommunications as Commons Initiative, Biofuels and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles, and Climate Neutral Bonding.

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