While many might quibble with Katz's argument that cities have done well enough in providing the physical spaces necessary for well functioning cities, he makes a provocative argument for urban development based on the transformation of economic environments, rather than physical ones.
Eluding to examples of cities building their economies on a foundation of innovation and production, including New York, Northeast Ohio, and Seattle, Katz argues for the need for cities to move "away from the service and real estate sectors and...look toward the tradable economy for sustained growth."
According to Katz, the implications for planners and designers are profound. "Economy shaping is going require a new kind of placemaking...You can't just focus on housing and transit in the core of a city, you need to focus on the physical needs of manufacturing, development and the needs that go along with them. That will clearly have a huge effect not only on the city but regional level."