Thanks for pointing this article out, this post has been sitting in my feed reader for the past week and a bit while I waited for enough time to read it in depth.
We've moved to a small town/city of under 10,000 people in the middle of BC, Canada, and sprawl is a real problem here, but for reasons fairly different to those we faced in a city of 250,000 in Australia.
In a larger city, there are enough people to keep many competing businesses afloat, so there is a selection of them, usually scattered around the suburbs as well as in the central business district.
In a smaller town, there is not enough competition, nor population to warrant competition in many industries and services. Want a lawyer? There's two in town. Want an engineer? There's two in town. Want to...? Your selection is limited.
In itself this is a good thing, but with a sprawled city, the services which could otherwise be within walking distance now require a vehicle.
All the author's points are valid regardless of where the issue is being discussed, and I agree that many are political in nature.