Best new burb: Orenco Station

In Hillsboro, Oregon

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The story behind the burb: The award-winning 260-acre development, begun in 1997, focuses on the pedestrian and light-rail commuter rather than the classic car-centric suburbanite. The neighborhood itself is arranged around parks and a bustling Main Street.

Want in? Condos start at about $160K, while single-family homes, on lots that average 3,500 square feet, sell for mid- to high $300K. There are about 1,200 units in Orenco Station; the number will cap off at around 2,000 in roughly five years. www.orencostation.com

Other new burbs we love
Belle Creek, CO, has won awards for its affordable, family-focused development. www.newtownbuilders.com

NorthWest Crossing in Bend, OR, preserved the landscape and connected street, sidewalk, and trail systems. www.northwestcrossing.com

Premier Gardens in Sacramento, already sold out, wins praise for its "zero-energy" houses, while homeowners toast electricity bill savings. www.builtbypremier.com

Prospect New Town in Longmont, CO, features narrow, tree-lined streets and a central park. www.prospectnewtown.com

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