There are two LEGO Neighborhood books, The LEGO Neighborhood Book: Build Your Own LEGO Town! and The LEGO Neighborhood Book 2: Build Your Own City!, both by Brian Lyles and Jason Lyles. The latter of the two is just out.
These are LEGO idea books, that require you to have a pretty good collection of LEGO bricks, or willingness to buy some, if you want to follow the builds closely. But what you really want to do is to use the build instructions to guide your thinking about what is possible, likely, or difficult, and how to approach the overall problem of building a small village right now that you can put under your holiday tree next week. Most of the creative energy in these books is in display of galleries of great builds photographed very nicely.
The books are sensitive to architectural style (Ameroican Colonial, Art Ceco, etc.) and how they might be combined to make a realistic urban landscape. The second volume has a section on microcities, where you build at the smallest possible scale.
Brian Lyles is a professional videographer who runs Brick City Depot, an online repository of over 50 detailed LEGO building instructions. When not running Brick City Depot with his brother Brian, Jason Lyles works as a software developer. The brothers live in Richmond, VA.