Neighborhoods are generally accepted as a proper concern of urban designers. Recent interest has shifted from the idea of creating neighborhoods to that of creating residential communities. Can one really design a neighborhood so that it will generate a community? Social science research supports the idea of community-generating settings, and suggests ten properties of these settings. A study of the development histories of fifteen planned communities in the United States finds that these properties are present. It also finds that a unified and distinctive appearance is often a catalyst for community action. Appearance can, then, be a community-generating property, but its power derives less from its inherent physical qualities than from the social context in which it is seen. By itself, appearance is no more than a façade. Community design requires more than what urban designers are typically called upon to do; it requires the active participation of others.