Robert Sullivan, in his NYT op-ed piece entitled The City that Never Walks, discusses how New York City has lost its vanguard position in terms of urban innovation. Sullivan focuses on its pedestrian friendliness (or lack thereof), and shows how other cities have been eclipsing New York in their new ideas and approaches to urban life:
And if Boulder, Baltimore, Sacramento, San Diego, Denver, Houston, Dallas, Portland, Ore., and Bergen County in New Jersey can build light rails, then why can’t New York finally put one on 42nd Street? Times Square could be the Crossroads of People instead of the Crossroads of Car Congestion.
Some other cities he mentions are Grand Rapids, Chicago, and London. (via kottke)