Yes, some cities get it right. Portland, Oregon seems to have a plan, and New York City’s conceptual approach is only getting better.
In Gary Hustwit’s Urbanized, a few of the more successful urban plans are celebrated along with their proponents, such as Enrique Penalosa (the former mayor of Bogota) and Alejandro Aravena (of Elemental). The latter has made great strides with ingenious lower-income housing that allows residents to assist in designing their own spaces. The former can trumpet his oversight of initial construction of the Colombian city’s mass transit system (TransMilenio) and the reconceptualizing of road usage, prioritizing pedestrian and pedal traffic.