The TED talk above covers a lot of themes that will be familiar to long time readers here, and even name-checks Northgate. Three points:
As Yglesias points out, there just isn’t enough emphasis in the talk on the extent which the obstacles to this kind of thing are regulatory rather than economic.
People get hung up, and a bit defensive, about the word “suburbs” as a shorthand for a certain type of development. Here in Seattle, the need for this applies to all but a few square miles in the city core, while several suburban downtowns are well on their way to being walkable.
Lastly, in reference to John’s recent cul-de-sac post, I don’t really care if roads are configured that way or not, as long as the walking paths allow easy foot and bike access. Homebuyers don’t demand them, so I don’t really blame developers for not providing them. Cities, however, should require them and step up to maintain them, just as they step up to maintain the roads.