This chapter covers many of the practical considerations in building a self-reliant community.
Land Development 
Energy Efficiency And Renewable Energy  
Appropriate Technology 
Keeping Money Local 

Land Development

USGS NSDI Clearinghouse - Land Use and Land Cover Digital Data
Land use and land cover (LULC) data available at this site are derived from thematic overlays registered to 1:250,000-scale base maps. There are a limited number of 1:100,000-scale base maps. Land use and land cover data provides information on urban or built up land, agricultural land, rangeland, forest land, water, wetlands, barren land, tundra, and perennial snow or ice. Associated maps display information in five data categories: (1) political units, (2) hydrologic units, (3) census county subdivisions, (4) Federal land ownership, and (5) State land ownership. LULC data is available for the conterminous United States and Hawaii. The 1:250,000-scale data and the 1:100,000-scale data is available online.

Journalists’ Guide to Remote Sensing Resources
This is the mega site for access to remote sensing maps and resources. Links in the following categories: Recommended Sites • Image Indexes, Browsers and Data Sets •
Earth Imagery Resources Arranged by Country • U.S. Government Earth Sensing Programs • Maps and Mapping • Weather Related Resources • FAQs, Listservs and News Groups • Businesses and Enterprises • Universities and Think Tanks • Professional Organizations and Congresses • Allied Fields.

Internet Resources Related to Sustainable Land Management
This is a good resource for the professional and activist alike. Sites pertaining to: Climate Change •
Conservation Biology and Ecology • Environmental Monitoring • Management of Pests and Weeds
•  Soil and Water Resources • International Business • Sirtrack • Information Services • Biological
Collections • Publications • and more

Oregon Dept. of Land Conservation and Development
What about the land that exists within the community? How do we plan the best use of it? This is an excellent site for local communities to see what land use planning entails. The Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) is responsible for monitoring and implementing the State of Oregon's Land Use Planning Program. The site explains the agencies main activities, and describes land use issues. Some of the topics covered include: What is an Urban Growth Boundary? • Farmland Protection • Statewide Goals Summary • Transportation and Growth Management Program • Oregon's Ocean/Coastal Program • Dispute Resolution Program • Natural Hazards Program • Publications, Etc. The site also contains key program information such as statutes, rules, goals, as well as historical information on the program.

Tools of the Trade for Urban Land Use Planning
This site contains an on-line handbook designed to help local governments manage growth more effectively in their communities. The policy tools discussed in this handbook address land use, transportation, and public facility problems that may arise due to ineffective growth management in urban areas. The handbook discusses eleven growth management tools, which are grouped into three categories: Land Use Strategies; Intergovernmental Agreements; and Public Facilities Techniques. Each category of tools addresses a different set of problems. How’s this for hands-on?!

Urban Land Institute
Industry resource containing web links for professional planners, builders and real estate developers, transportation planners etc.


The Cygnus Group
This web site is designed to provide individuals and organizations with information regarding the most efficient and effective ways to reduce waste and conserve resources. The focus is on source reduction and reuse as well as recycling.

EPA Waste-Wi$e Program
WasteWi$e is a voluntary partnership between the EPA and businesses, designed to reduce municipal solid waste. The focus is on: 1.waste prevention, 2.recycling collection and 3.buying or manufacturing recycled products. The site contains downloadable information on Waste Prevention • Facility Waste Assessments • Buying or Manufacturing Recycled Products • Recycling Collection • Other Related EPA Documents.

Waste Prevention World
This site contains an Online Article Database on waste prevention. Also pointers to waste reduction practices: At Home • Business Waste Reduction • Landscaping/Organics
• Recycling/Waste Reduction Coordinator Info • Waste Prevention Info as PDF Files • Waste Reduction Training Program • Waste Reduction Awards Program (WRAP).

Swana waste links
The Solid Waste Association of North America. Links to seven Municipal Solid Waste sites and more.

Keep America Beautiful
A not-for-profit public education organization with local affiliates dedicated to improving solid waste handling in American communities. Waste In Place and Waste, A Hidden Resource provide teachers with information and training.

Preserving Resources through Integrated Sustainable Management of Waste
World-Wide Waste Web
A substantial list of Internet resources on waste management issues.


National Transportation Library
Library of The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS). It seeks to
improve the knowledge base for public decision making, and to improve
public awareness of the nation's transportation system and its consequences.

An On-Line Tour of State Departments of Transportation (DOTs)
In the past year many more state Departments of Transportation have discovered the Internet, and many state DOTs now host their own web or gopher sites. To see what these state departments are up to, visit this site.

Links to Logistics and Transport Information Sources
This site has links to transportation planners in every arena - land, sea, air and even subway.

Center for Alternative Transportation Fuels
This site belongs to a private company involved in research and development of sustainable solutions to transportation fuels. Areas of study include: Forest-biotechnology • Environmental services and technology • Advanced transportation systems • Ergonomics • Ocean engineering.

Energy Efficiency And Renewable Energy

National Center for Appropriate Technoloy
Low Income Energy • Sustainable Energy • Sustainable Agriculture • Resource Efficient Housing

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Network
This site is the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's (EE) premier resource for information about renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. Pointers to: EE at a Glance • EE Offices • Partnering with EE • News and Events • International • Education and Training • Energy Efficiency Technologies (Agriculture, Buildings, Industrial, Transportation, Utilities) • Renewable Energy Technologies
(Fuels and Chemicals, Geothermal, Hydrogen, Hydropower, Ocean, Solar, Wind) • Energy and Environment • Type of Organization • Resources. (Discussion Groups, Products and Services, Software, Visuals).

Rocky Mountain Institute
One of the great sources of information on creating energy efficiency at the household and community levels. Learn how to stem the three greatest drains on local money - energy, food and insurance. Plan together and turn these savings into local jobs and a greater standard of community life. The institute focuses on energy, water, economic renewal, agriculture, green development and more. Get free home energy briefs on lighting, windows, refrigerators, water heaters, cooking appliances and dishwashers, washers and dryers, computers ....

The Internet information service for energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable living. Lots of technology information and connections.

Energy Wise Options for State and Local Governments
A good source of planning information on Energy efficiency • Land use and transportation • Waste reduction • Renewable energy.

Energy Related Resources
A Site for Students. Pointers to Power generation • Energy efficiency in the home and school • Energy policies • Energy and the environment • Energy related institutions and organizations • On-line energy publications • Energy related database searches • Student-teacher generated links • Economics of energy.

University of Illinois (Chicago) Energy Resource Center
Provides government and the public with advice on energy technology and policy. Are you involved in building and transportation projects? Or maybe you need advice on retrofitting your trailer? This is the place to go for advice.

The Texas Loan STAR Program
This site addresses large scale energy savings. It was set up to "save taxes and resources" by monitoring energy use and recommending energy saving retrofits in large buildings. One school building retrofitted with energy saving technology can save up to $25,000 per month. A good way to save money and keep it local.

Environmental Protection Agency
The US government site on energy. A lot of information and resources.

EcoNet's Energy Resources
Links to renewable energy and sustainable energy information sources. Renewable energy sources are generally defined as those sources of energy that are regenerated at the same rate they are used. The Earth's renewable energy resources are more than enough to meet our energy needs for the foreseeable future, without the use of fossil fuels or nuclear power.

EcoNet Energy Resources -- Solar Thermal Energy
Links to organizations, information and resources on solar energy.

EcoNet Energy Resources -- Biomass
Links to organizations, information and resources on biomass.

EcoNet Energy Resources -- Geothermal
Geothermal resources and links to other sites.

EcoNet Energy Resources -- Electricity from the Sun
Businesses and organizations working on solar energy. Publications on Photovoltaic Technology • Solar Cells • Solar Vehicles.

EcoNet Hydropower Resources
This site includes information on dams, water diversions, impoundments, and hydroelectric projects and their impacts around the world. And more.

EcoNet Energy Resources -- Wind
This is the home site of The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) that works to further the development of wind energy as a reliable energy alternative. The site offers an extensive publications catalog, a FAQ, and articles from the Wind Energy Weekly newsletter. It also contains invaluable links to its member organization sites that cover every aspect of wind energy, including educational materials and other resources.

On Line Renewable Energy Education Module
A great overview of renewable energy, including sections on global impact, economics and case studies. Categories of renewable energy include: Biomass • Geothermal: Energy • Hydro • Ocean (Ocean Thermal, Wave) • Solar Thermal • Solar Electric • Wind.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory
This site lists technical publications relevant to renewable energy. Categories include: Alternative Fuels • Basic Sciences • Buildings • Chemical Technologies • Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (general topics) • Energy Policy and Analysis • Geothermal Energy • Hybrid Electric Vehicles • Hydrogen • Industry • Materials Science and Semiconductors • National Renewable Energy Laboratory • Photoconversion • Quality Management • Solar Energy - General • Solar Energy - Photovoltaics • Solar Energy - Radiation • Solar Energy - Thermal • Superconductivity • Transportation • Utilities • Waste Recycling and Management • Wind Energy.

Appropriate Technology

National Center for Appropriate Technology Homepage
NCAT addresses small-scale projects and approaches accomplished at the local level. It embraces technologies as diverse as a community project to supply solar water heaters to low-income residents, integrated pest management plans for farms and wildlife refuges, energy monitoring in buildings, and the creation of databases to provide information on energy-efficiency in public housing. NCAT has provided local, state and national leadership with a broad range of programs and projects and is known nationally for its work in appropriate technology. Pointers to: Sustainable Energy Program • Sustainable Agriculture Program • Resource-Efficient Housing Program • NCAT Annual Report • Technology Transfer • Expert Consulting.

Solstice is the site for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainable technology information and connections. Lots of pointers to practical applications.

Jade Mountain
Home site for 5000 appropriate technology tools catalog. Books and Product Information • Energy Essays • Products for Developing Countries • Product Comparisons • Frequently Asked AT Questions • How to subscribe to our newsletter/catalog • Specials.


Non-Electric Food Dryer And Sprouter
When it comes to drying food, nothing beats the PANtrie. Since it's hanging in the air, the trays can now be spaced much farther apart than trays sitting on the counter. This allows the warm air to rise and circulate with little restriction. As a result, the food dries almost as fast as electric dryers, and much more evenly.

The Solar Cooker Archive
This site shows you how to build a food cooker that uses the power of the sun. It uses simple, available materials. Just the thing if you’re caught in a natural disaster. Also great for getting off the grid. Links to: News • Construction Plans (free) • Reports • Images • Directory of promoters and manufacturers • Resources.

Well digging tool
The percussion drill is one of the oldest known tools for making holes in the ground to get water. Records show that it was used by the Chinese in 1100 BC and it is still a very popular method of drilling today. This site contains in-depth information about well digging without high technology.

Access to 190,000 free, downloadable software programs. Go crazy.


Civic Dialogue and Citizen Participation
This site promotes the use of computers to build local communities. Includes a strategy paper entitled "A National Strategy for Civic Networking". Computers are an invaluable tool to facilitate planning and monitor progress. They can keep everyone informed and on track. Just check your local on-line bulletin board to find out what’s happening.

Downtown Minneapolis Residents Association (DMRA)
The site is a good model on how community activists can use the internet to keep residents informed of local developments. At this site residents can voice their opinions, receive notice of meetings, and participate in committees for social change. Community leaders can also access the site to find out what people are thinking.

The Internet for Development Organizations
For many people and organizations, there is still a big psychological barrier to the use of this growing communication medium. Use of the Internet however is not complicated, does not require very expensive infrastructure and is within the reach of most development organizations. Setting up a home page on the Internet and networking with other organizations and people is a simple and efficient means of communication. This site contains an excellent, in depth article on how to set up a site and maintain it. Everything you need to know. It was written by a development organization in Africa.

411 The Internet White Pages
The best way to search for someone on the Internet. Enter as much or as little information as you want. All fields are optional. First Name: Last Name: Domain: (e.g., City: State: Country. Comes with a help/faq page.


The Scientific Selection of Candidates
This site contains an article that points out the difficulty of identifying honest politicians during an election campaign. It recommends an organizing strategy for electing honest politicians. Thought provoking and based upon good incites, but would take considerable development in order to serve as an organizing tool for local stakeholders.

Federal Election Commission
This site contains information for those who want to run for office and for those who want to support them. Pointers to: Citizens Guide to Contributions and the Law • Using FEC Services • Financial Information About Candidates, Parties and PACs • Help for Candidates, Parties and PACs • About Elections and Election Administration • News Releases, Media Advisories • Presidential Primary Election Vote Totals by State for all Parties • Download the National Mail Voter Registration Form now!

The National Mail Voter Registration Form
The National Mail Voter Registration Form is the one document that allows you to register to vote from anywhere in the United States. It can be used to: Register out-of-town tourist and convention groups • Register people from surrounding States who work, shop, or attend events in a central city • Conduct voter registration drives, especially at colleges and universities • Register individuals at State agencies or other public offices.

Vote Smart Web
This is an excellent one-stop shopping center for political information. Links to: Speeches • Find Your Representatives by ZIPCODE • Governor's Races • Congressional Races • State Legislative Races • Biographical and Contact Information for State Legislators • Your Government • Federal Government Information • The President and the Executive Branch • Congress • Data from Project Vote Smart • The Judiciary • State Government Information • Political Campaigns • Issue Information • Organizations Related to Politics • Educational and Reference Resources • Miscellaneous Political Resources • Other Directories of Political Information.

Campaign and Elections On-line
Allows you to search for information on political races at all levels. Also allows you to check out the changing odds on major national, state, and local races in all 50 states.

Voter Information Services (VIS)
VIS Ratings of the U.S. Congress. This site tracks the lobbyists and tells you which ones YOUR representative and senators voted with or against. Also provides information on: • "Contract With America" Voting Record • Information For Sale (Voting Records of the U.S. Congress in electronic form. Customized VIS Ratings reports.) and • Other Politics Related Sites.

Political Science Resources
A wealth of contacts for political scientists and strategists. Sites are organized under the following headings: General Sources • Journals • U.S. Federal Government • U.S. Congressional and Presidential Elections • California State and City Government • U.S. Political Parties • Canadian Politics • Comparative and World Politics • International Organizations • News Resources • Political and Related Data Sources • Public Policy & Advocacy Research Institutes and Centers.

Political Science Information
A collection of political science resources from Berkeley: Politics and Political Science • Electronic Books and Journals • Research Institutes and Organizations • Election Information • Human Rights • Legal Resources • Peace Studies • Public Policy • Area Studies • Other Political Science Resources on the Internet

Research Resources in Political Science
An extensive list of resources for the political scientist. Headings include: The Political Science Profession • Political Science Information Trees and Related Resources • Some Key Libraries and Research Aids • Elections and Electoral Materials • Political Science Methods and Methodology • Political Documents and Data • Political Science, Politics, and Government Journals • Political Science Department Home Pages • Political Science Discussion Lists.

FEC Disclosure Reports
Images of reports filed by House Campaigns, Party Committees, and Political Action Committees. The actual financial reports filed by campaigns and committees on the Web. Now you can view the reports as they were originally submitted, something that used to require a trip to your state elections office or the FEC in Washington.

National Political Index
Another one stop shop for politicos: Hourly Political Headlines • Contacting Federal Elected Officials • Contacting State and Local Officials • Contacting Federal Candidates • Information. on Federal Candidates • State and Local Candidates • No-Cost Web Sites for Candidates • Contacting National Political Parties • State & Local Party Groups • Contacting Political Activist Groups • State Initiatives and Referenda • Un-elected Beltway V.I.P.s • Tracking Congressional Legislation • Voting Booths And Polls • Contacting Federal Gov't Agencies • Government Sponsored Information • State & Local Gov't Agencies • Political Science Departments • On-Line Political Magazines • Unclassified Political Sites • The National Political Activist • The National Political Review • The National Employment Index • Personals • Political Resources • Partner Wanted for Investment Opportunity • Political Humor • Search Sites • Political Newsgroups • Political Think Tanks • Reporters' Resources • Political Games & Simulations.


Insurance is one of the top three industries that drains cash from local economies. It is worthwhile for local stakeholders to understand how this industry operates and to determine if there are ways to minimize expenses and gain control over this outflow.

Alliance for Alternatives in Health Care, Inc.
This site contains a link to an alliance of businesses, associations, and individuals working to gain greater credibility and recognition for natural, alternative, and complementary medicine. Members have access to The Alternative Health Plan, which includes coverage for a wide range of natural therapies in addition to conventional medical care. The alliance seeks to developing a national network of holistic medical providers to service members.

Glossary of Insurance and Financial Planning Terms
This site provides a comprehensive dictionary of terms.

This site provides captives, insurance companies, self insureds, risk retention groups, purchasing groups, associations, reciprocals, and public entity pools with a one-stop location for the exchange of information and services related to insurance and risk management.

RISKWeb's primary purpose is to serve information to academics and professionals with significant research and/or professional interests in the field of Risk Management and Insurance. This site contains numerous links to resources as well as provides the opportunity to subscribe to RiskNet, an international on-line discussion group on insurance and risk management.

Keeping Money Local

New Money for Healthy Communities
Thomas H. Greco Jr., one of the leading thinkers on self-reliance, has put his "How to" manual for local trading systems on the net. It demonstrates how voluntary groups can revitalize local economies. Go to the Table of Contents and click on it. Thereafter click on each chapter. You can download the entire book for free or find out how to get a hardcopy. Great for getting your thoughts in order about money. If you need money for your project and cant raise it from outside, do like the bankers do and make it yourself.

Lending Circles
Self-employed people, especially women and minorities, often have trouble getting small business loans. Banks aren't interested because processing costs and other factors often make these loans less profitable. This site has an article that explains how a small number of self-employed individuals (no more than ten) form a lending circle and together approve each other's loan.

Microenterprise is a program that encourages economic self-reliance through small loans, business training and mutual support. This site tells you all about such ventures and about people who can help you set them up.

The Virtual Library on Microcredit
This homepage is intended to be a repository of information on alternative/non-conventional financial systems and informal credit markets (ICM). Microcredit approaches, community mobilization and enviro-economic development are also covered. The site has an international orientation but some examples are applicable to development in the US.

Ithaca Money Home Page
This site provides information on how to create your own community currency:
A brief explanation • Retailers List • Articles • Currency Samples • Success Stories • Starter Kit Ordering Info • Other Internet Barter Resources.

LETSystems - the Home Page
This is an excellent resources for those interested in the Local Employment Trading System (LETS) - a local currency managed out of a PC. LETSystems have been set up in communities around the world with great success. Here you will find info on the theory and practice, along with downloadable software to set up your own system. You can also get in discussions with practitioners about those technical questions. Have fun making your own money. Its all legal.

The Credit Union Home Page(R)
Everything you wanted to know about credit unions: philosophy, vital statistics, their role in community development, technology initiatives, consumer information, vendors, credit unions with sites on the Internet etc.

National Credit Union Administration Homepage
The National Credit Union Administration is an independent federal agency that supervises and insures 7,329 federal credit unions and insures 4,358 state-chartered credit unions. It is entirely funded by credit unions and receives no tax dollars. Go here to get all the documents and forms that you need to set up a credit union. Also learn about the history, statistics, and legal references on credit unions. Get pointed to other sites as well.

The Community Reinvestment Fund
CRF is a nonprofit organization that provides a secondary market for economic development loans. They buy loans from economic development organizations and use them as collateral to sell bonds to private investors. They tailor each loan purchase to the needs of the client, and also provide loan servicing, portfolio management, and training. If you are an economic development organization or government agency that operates a loan fund, their "securitization" service gives you a new source of capital to invest in your community. The site includes links to dozens of other economic development resources on the Internet.

Community Development Banking Archive
This list serves practitioners including Community Development Credit Unions, CD Banks, CDCs, CD Loan Funds, and non-profits involved in support. The discussions have ranged from the practical (construction, mortgage, and small business lending; job opportunities, conferences, fundraising) to legislative (CRA, HMDA, and CDFI) to the cutting edge (micro-loan funds, peer ending, local currency, targeting social impact). You may subscribe.

Municipal bonds
State and local governments frequently have to answer the question of how to finance expensive projects like construction of new roads, schools, airports or water and sewer systems. In addition to internally generated revenues, grants and other forms of intergovernmental government revenues, government often looks to the municipal bond market to assist in the financing of expensive capital projects. This site contains information on municipal bonds.

Earth Rights Documents
There are three articles at this site for local planners interested in land taxes as a means of generating local income. See “Pennsylvania Success with Local Tax Reform”, Privatizing Land without Giveaway” and “Land Rent in a Tax Free Society.”

Finance Net: State and Local Finance Management and Audit Resource
Need to do some research on local government spending? Here is the site for State and Local Accounting and Audit Resources. Links to: Government Offices of Finance and Administration by State • State Treasurers, at NASIRE • State Treasurers, at NASACT • Best Practices of Municipal Governments • AICPA at Rutgers • Accounting and Finance HotList • Accountant's Hot List • Accounting Professionals' Resource Center, Kent IS • More Accounting Resources • "Financial Reporting in Government" and more.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
This site has plenty of information to help you understand the banking industry and to protect yourself in the market place. Pointers to: What’s New • Consumer Information (including a Consumers Resource Handbook) • Banking Information • Statistical Information • Asset Information • Corporate Library • FDIC List Servers • Corporate and Other Federal Information.

The Federal Reserve Board
The Federal Reserve System is the central bank of the United States. This site contains information on the banking system as well as pointers to: the Federal Open Market Committee • Testimony and Speeches • Press Releases • Domestic and International Research • General Information • Publications • Related Web Sites. Go here if you want to follow the money.


Action Without Borders
The place to start if you're looking for fundraising ideas.

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