The fastest networks in the nation are built by local governments, a new report by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and Benton Foundation reveals Chattanooga, Tennessee, is well known for being the first community with citywide access to a “gig,” or the fastest residential connections to the Internet available nationally. Less known are Bristol, Virginia, and … Read More
Originally published in 1982, we’re making this book available as a free download since many of its discussions are as relevant today as they were 25 years ago. The first half discusses the century-long struggle by cities to gain autonomy and authority from state governments and create their own planning and service delivery capacities. The second part describes the first urban-based localization movements and the successes and challenges. As a standalone document, we’ve also included the new foreword and the book’s last chapter, The Ecological City given the current revived debate about the subject.… Read More
Global warming requires local solutions Cities should use bonding authority to promote energy conservation. The savings would easily pay back the expense. By John Bailey, originally published in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, October 5, 2007 More than 650 cities around the country, including Minneapolis, have formally agreed to honor the Kyoto Protocol and reduce their greenhouse-gas … Read More
Themedia simply report on California’s shortfall of thousands of megawatts and limit the discussion to President Bush’s energy plan and Gov. Gray Davis’ plea for wholesale rate caps. They’re missing the real story. California may need thousands of megawatts of generating capacity in the long run, but the rolling blackouts hit only a few blocks at a time. This summers’ electricity crisis, therefore, isn’t going to be dealt with in Washington or even Sacramento, but at the local and neighborhood level.
Stifling the Rights of Communities by David Morris Institute for Local Self-Reliance May 21, 1998 – published in St. Paul Pioneer Press Twenty years ago, appalled by the brutality of the apartheid system in South Africa, citizens around the country successfully convinced their local governments to put their tax money where their values were. Half a … Read More
The first half of this book discusses the century-long struggle by cities to gain autonomy and authority from state governments and create their own planning and service delivery capacities. The second part describes the first urban-based localization movements. Given the relevance of the book to current localist efforts, we’ve written a new foreword that traces the local energy initiatives after the 75 percent plunge in oil prices after 1982 and the coming to power of a new administration hostile to renewable energy.… Read More
"From the hills of Seattle to the flatlands of Davis, from the industrial city of Hartford to the universty town of Madison, cities are beginning to redefine their role in our society," begins this important essay. For Morris the new role should should include inducing the widest distribution of productive capacity. New technologies make possible a more self-conscious and organic city. Local self-reliance becomes a strategy that embraces economic, environmental, and political goals. Morris argues that we have had far too much government and far too little governance. Government is bureaucratic. Governance is democratic. Communities can design their future. The new city-state emerge. … Read More