The article indicates that City's are not going to rebound, the suburbs are king and for the last 50 years traditional cities have been loosing population.
The author goes on to illustrate a point that when 1,000 move into a city, urban planners and city officials declare victory that people are moving back into the city as the convienently ignore the fact that 10,000 have moved to the suburbs.
He goes on to critisize planners who have organized civic events, art districts, and encourage singles, dinks, and empty nesters to live in the city. He indicates that planners have forgotten about good schools, crime, and public infrastructure maintenance.
Incorrect data and plenty of presumptions create a load of crap. City's have been on the rebound... not all, but many have stablized their population drop and some of shown increases in population. The suburb may be the middle class families domain, but the city is still a focus of energy, inspiration, and collaboration of different people and different ideas. Cities provide the dynamic randomness that can't be recreated in a modern day suburb/exurb.
The author assumes that our economic, transportation, and energy situations will not change and will always favor development of suburbs. City development was not always fashionable either... and until the advent of industrialization, mega cities were completely unfathomable. Things change, and it is negligent to ignore the fact that things will change again. Maybe cities won't become dominant, maybe small communities and hamlets scattered throughout the country will become fashionable and efficent.
The author indicates that with advances in telecommunications, living in the city is not required anymore because people can work anywhere.. That being the case, soon we'll tele-purchase our groceries, furniture, and housing needs. We'll tele-educate our children in our own homes.. We'll tele-commute by working from home. It really won't matter where we live.. Families could even live... in the city? hmmm.
I won't wear blinders and insist that the suburbs are not currently king. They seem to get the lionshare of residential development. They seem to appeal most to families. Cities, on the whole, seem to struggle to attract the middle class base.
Cities have their own problems, and as suburbs mature and reach the maturity our traditional cities have, I expect suburbs will be inflicted with their own debilitating problems that will force an exodus somewhere else. The modern industrial city in America was about 100-125 years old when the heavy declines occured. The oldest suburbs are 3/4 of the way there.
Planners do all that they can or are allowed to do to plan for the cities, suburbs, and rural areas. As advisors, all they can do is advise. Implementation and creation is up to the politicians and developers.