A smidgen of Atlanta's overall growth has been in the actual city limits, but that growth is amazing considering past declines...and it represents about a 15% increase in the city population. From 2000 to 2005 Atlanta's urban population increased by 54,000...and this is a trend that is predicted to continue and increase in the foreseeable future as urban living becomes more attractive in Atlanta. Other sun belt cities are seeing this trend as well, so the tide is already turning and these cities are not doomed to see only suburban growth.The truth is that a majority of ecnomic growth is suburban-based, these days, for just about every city in this country, meaning that many of these 'newer' cities still aren't going to be seeing near the amount of inner-city infrastructure enlargement and improvement they'll need to be able to recentralize. And, no, freeway expansions and enlargements won't be enough. I'm talking about inner-city rail lines that will make economies more efficient.
A city like Cleveland (built for nearly a million + its urban suburbs), or Detroit (built for nearly 2 million + its urban suburbs) will be much better positioned the re-urbanization of the country's population whenever that happens. A lot of sunbelt cities are seeing some decent infill, but it's still a ridiculously small percentage of the total growth of the urban/metro areas. I mean, urban and metro Atlanta has added a ridiculous amont of population and economic growth, but just a smidgen of that has been in the inner-city, and inner-city growth is an even ridiculously smaller percentage in many other 'newer' cities.
As long as growth is suburban-oriented, those that have been great at this type of development will continue to proposer. I also think that as shallow as we become, we're going to find climate become less and less important like it used to be.
Atlanta is not exactly a "newer" city...it has been an important center since the 1850's, and has seen trememdous growth and development for decades. Climate isn't the only draw to Atlanta and the South...although it is an important reason for many people who have chosen to live here. What is so shallow about being drawn to warm sunny weather? It sounds like an intelligent move to me!