:: SUDS - image via Sherwood Energy Village
Previously covered widely, (this via Jetson Green) the US town of Greensburg, Kansas suffered devastating losses due to tornado damage. It has since become the first city require all buildings bigger than 4,000 square feet to be LEED Platinum rated. It will be interesting to see if this approach works - not necessarily eco-planning but setting a standard target for all significant buildings. Plus it will cut down on the potential McMansions. Overall, from a community planning scale, even a modest one of 1500, it might be a better approach to adhere to LEED-ND standards if dealing with a community scale?
In Germany, the Solar City in Frieburg is a model example of solar-energy as the driving force in development. As part of the larger Solar Region, the goal is to maximize solar resources. It's interesting to note that Germany has similar sun days to the Willamette Valley region of Oregon, where PV panels are consistently poo-poo'd as not feasible due to lack of solar access. There seem to be a lot more of them showing up in recent years.
:: map of solar projects - image via Solar Region
In the same issue is an article by Andres Duany on knowing your audience. 'Who will opt for a green community?' targets four types of people that are constituents of the core group for 'eco-planning' activities. These include Ethicists, Trend-Setters, Opportunists, Survivalists, and the final group, the Apathetics. Why? To market to the specific goals and motivations of each group.
Duany, from the article: "New urbanists, Duany said, should have the prescience to ask themselves: Are you speaking to an ethicist, a survivalist, or a member of one of the other market segments? You can build the same project for people of differing outlooks, but you should present it differently, depending on the target."
The above projects show a variety of scales and offerings of 'green' communities, circumnavigating the globe. So I guess the question isn't which one, but rather, what are you waiting for?