Mostly Economics reviews the interesting article titled "Urban-Development Legends" by Mario Polese. The bottom line is:
The history of local economic development is a story of academic fads.
The article describes these fads that come and go. It explains how little we know about urban development. And it proposes a theory of why these theories have not worked. Probably the key is in Mostly Economic's final sentence:
Good governance and leadership is needed in anything you run.To understand the paradox of urban development one needs to understand the black boxes of governance and good leadership. And most likely, one of these boxes is inside the other one.