Purpose – China’s accelerated urbanisation leads directly to pressure on the urban environment. The purpose of this paper is to identify best practices involved in a real sustainable community projects for the experience to be replicated in future. Design/methodology/approach – To explore the practical development experiences and technological applications, a case study was conducted, involving both document analysis and semi-structured interviews. Findings – The findings identify the green technologies and strategies used in the project planning and design process. The social considerations of the project development are also recognised in providing comfort, convenience and safety for their residents. Furthermore, the research highlights the fact that sustainable communities can incur less operational costs compared with traditional ones and therefore provide a feasible option for clients with a greater capability for upfront investment. Originality/value – The results of the research provide valuable references for developers in the development of sustainable communities in both China and other countries.