Joel Kotkin's latest commentary in the LA Times points out that while
Urban boosters have embraced a new panacea for what ails central cities, including downtown Los Angeles – residential high-rises and converted luxury lofts. But like the dot-com boom in the late 1990s, the downtown residential building craze is based more on hype than on economic fundamentals.
. . .
The increase in downtown residents in demographically declining cities is a bright spot. But it too should not be exaggerated, particularly compared with growth in the suburbs. If you add up the 2010 growth projections of the nation's 20 largest downtowns, according to estimates by the Fannie Mae Foundation and the Brookings Institution, it does not equal last year's increase in San Bernardino-Riverside counties.
He's not arguing that downtowns don't have a role and won't see some growth, just that the trend toward suburbanization has not changed.
Read it all here.