Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Institute for Local Self Reliance (ILSR)

Description: 

The Institute for Local Self Reliance (ILSR) is a small organization with a remarkable track record for breaking new ground in promoting sustainable communities. In 1978 RAIN magazine described ILSR as an organization that "puts hard numbers on soft dreams". In 1993 United States Senator Paul Wellstone called ILSR "one of this country's leading practical thinkers in the area of sustainable economic development".

Every year since its founding ILSR has researched the feasibility of communities generating a significant amount of wealth from local resources and has worked with the increasing numbers of communities interested in moving in that direction. In our initial years we focused on our surrounding Washington, D.C. neighborhood, Adams Morgan. Our urban townhouse became a working model of our ideas, with rooftop hydroponic gardens and solar collectors and a commercial basement sprout operation and composting toilet. We researched the income flows and ownership patterns of the neighborhood and helped to build cooperative businesses.