There are many common misconceptions about sustainable living. These hinder both an understanding of the benefits, and broader acceptance of sustainable solutions. Professionals within sustainability know of many good project examples, but these are still little known amongst the broader public; and in many countries hardly at all. Four such misconceptions or “myths” are briefly described, and then countered by a selection of examples. Most of these have been extensively studied and are arguably largely success stories, covering many aspects of ecological, economic and social sustainability. Four points are then noted which whilst not new, demand increased attention: an integrated view of city and countryside; the still underrated role of dynamics and process; social science insights into consumption and sociotechnical change; and emerging questions about sustainability in dense settlements, i.e., urbanity in general. This paper thus argues for a synthesis perspective; some quite new research perspectives are emerging. The paper is based on the literature as well as over 25 years of professional experience, visits, workshops and in-depth exchanges with most of the projects presented. Whilst remaining attentive to obstacles, weaknesses and challenges, a key task is to achieve wider dissemination of “the good news” about sustainable settlements and living.
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