"A residential setting implies corresponding properties of place and lifestyle. This mufti-dimensional notion is hard to conceptualize; it can be made easier if corresponding places and lifestyles are organized into types of settings which can serve as models and points of reference. Country, city and suburb are, perhaps, the most widely recognized and generally used types of residential settings. Each of these words signifies a place, and it connotes a way of life. In the first half of the century, the physical environment of the city was credited with creating a way of life that was quite different from life in the country -- a distinctively urban way of life. Later, with the growth of the suburbs the physical environment of the suburbs was credited with creating a distinctively suburban way of life. But the idea of mutually exclusive country, city and suburban lifestyles has been refuted; we now believe that people choose residential settings that fit their preferred way of life. Scholars have attempted to classify these different ways of life. What is needed now is a new way of classifying places. The country, the city and the suburbs have changed significantly over the past fifty years. Nowadays, there are country-type environments in the suburbs, suburban-type environments in the city, and city-type environments in the suburbs. Just as they no longer mean distinctively different ways of life, the words "country," "city, "and "suburb" no longer mean distinctively different types of places. The paper discusses using popular myths about desirable places and ways to live as a basis for classifying residential settings. Popular media and the arts help to give expression and shape these myths and are, in turn, a source of information about them. Four myths are described: Big-city, small-town, club and retreat. These categories are currently being tested in interviews with a sample of residents in Baltimore. The same interviews are being conducted in four other countries to test for cultural variation."