[IMGCAP(1)]WASHINGTON, DC-At first glance, Stella, MO, and Abu Dhabi, UAE would seem to have little in common. But both are sustainable communities being honored and described at the Green Community exhibition at the National Building Museum, which opened here last week.

Green Community is the first major exhibition in the United States to explore the complex process of creating and sustaining healthy communities, extending beyond technology and materials to the actual impact of both large and small communities.The yearlong exhibit is another step in an education process that in this case serves the general public and the developers, designers and other professionals who create these developments. “It’s about the first person plural, about the ‘we,’ ” said Susan Piedmont-Palladino, the curator of the exhibit.

The museum has hosted two previous green exhibits, in 2003 and 2006-07, but this is the first that extends beyond individual contributions, encompassing urban planning and design for a uniquely eclectic audience. “People in design, construction and development consider this their museum,” Palladino says. “We also attract people who are predisposed to an interest in building. And then there are the people who wander in when it’s raining.”

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