The government has announced the location of the first four eco-towns.
They are to beÂ Rackheath in Norfolk, the China Clay Community at St Austell in Cornwall, North-West Bicester in Cherwell and Whitehill-Bordon in East Hampshire.
The first batch, which were announced by housing minister John Healey today, represent sites whose green credentials have been passed by an independent panel, responsibility for their development will now pass to local planning departments.
They are set to go on site by 2016.
According to the government, eco-towns will provide between 5,000 and 15,000 new homes that are affordable, well-designed and â€œgreenâ€.
In a separate announcement, environment secretary Ed Milliband said Wednesday this week, that 15 villages, towns or cities would become test-beds for piloting future green initiatives.
The plan was announced as part of the governmentâ€™s â€œcarbon transitionâ€ white paper, which aims to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 34% by 2020 against 1990 levels.
Around 15% of the reduction is set to come from improving household energy efficiency. The document also launched a consultation on the details of a government scheme that will pay people and businesses a premium for generating low-carbon electricity.