“Indian ideological leader Mahatma Gandhi is often cited as the “mother” of the appropriate technology movement. Though the concept had not been given a name, Gandhi advocated for small, local and predominantly village-based technology to help India’s villages become self reliant. He disagreed with the idea of technology that benefited a minority of people at the expense of the majority or that put people out of work to increase profit. In 1925 Gandhi founded the All-India Spinners Association and in 1935 he retired from politics to form the All-India Village Industries Association both organizations focused on village-based technology similar to the future appropriate technology movement. 
China also implemented policies similar to appropriate technology during the reign of Mao Tse-tung and the following Cultural Revolution. During the Cultural Revolution, development policies based on the idea of “walking on two legs” advocated the development of both large-scale factories and small-scale village industries. ”
The idea is to breakdown centralized manufactoring infrastructure to a more localized production. Energy is saved in transportation and storage.The idea falls into the cell/size/city theory.
The larger a cell/city grows the more energy it will cost to sustain itself.
The idea could be reflected on the national electric grid.
Also increasing complexity with massive systems takes more energy to sustain.
I’m uncertain how a sustainable community could work in relation to the current economic model-that is money made by expansion. The problem with expansion is that you eventually run out of reseource.