I ran across this article about how our suburbs are going to turn into slums. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2008/03/14/carollloyd.DTL
That got back into reading some stuff about urban design & development. I picked up "Celebration, USA: Living In Disney's Brave New World" by Frantz and Collins. I'm about 3/4 of the way thru and doubt I'l finish. It was written in 1999, a couple years after the town opened. It's an easy read, but I found it relatively uninformative about how such a community works or doesn't work. It's written by some people who claim to be reporters, but they make both mistakes and fill the book with stories. Not much analyis of the town.
Their book also pushed how Disney was try to sell small town America. (for some values of small). Projected population was 20,000. As of 2007 population stands at 3,500 or so.
Between that book and "How Cities Work" by Alex Marshall I don't see a future for Celebration or similar ideas aimed at redesigning our metro landscape. I have to agree with Marshall that transporation is much more a key issue than the architure that Disney's developers seem to be pushing.
They city has a small downtown within "walking distance" of the houses. The stores seem to be limited to upscale establishments and boutiques. If you want to actually shop it's standard suburbs solution of get in the car and get on the highway. Most of the people use cars to cummute alone to work, with apparently few if any jobs actually in the brave new town.
From a few websites, and the two books, Celebration seems to be a standard gated exurban community. A look at Google Maps seems to show that it's isolated by high speed roads from the rest of the county. Even at full build out, I somehow suspect that they'll never get the businesses inside the development. The road network is poor to the point that the only people who could shop there would be the residents. The density, even at full build out looks to be to low to support stores that have to compete with the big boxes and malls on the highway. Add in that most people commute to work, they'll stop at places outside the development.