Preble's premise will no doubt be controversial, as many planners will likely tell you it's their job to lead, rather than follow, market conditions to create the types of communities that reflect the shared values of residents and elected officials. And one can imagine scenarios where those values run contrary to existing supply or demand.
Furthermore, in the wake of the collapse of the country's housing market, analysts have some explaining to do. It's unclear how the market analysis that led some of the nation's largest banks and developers to overbuild and over-invest in the housing market in the last decade could have benefited municipal decision-making.
But alas, the more information that officials and planners have at their disposal when making land use decisions, the better. So perhaps, in a time of reduced resources for public sector planners, private developers would be willing to share their market data and insight with planners as significant land use decisions are being considered.