[[predictions like these were made in the '70s - and people moved to cities in droves to be away from the work/smells/"hassles" and "inconvenience" of rural areas]]
What we consider a rewarding and personally satisfying way of life, ... or a rewarding and personally satisfying escape from our corporate day jobs that we largely tolerate only because we have to ... most people consider dirty, smelly, inconvenient, repulsive, et cetera.
If given a choice, people will tend to choose those things which give them less work and more convenience. And then they start to operate on notional impulses - fertilizer is smelly and they don't want the farm field next to them to have "drift" and throw that hideous smell in their open windows, so they ban manure spreading. And then let's rezone the AG-zoned land to commercial and put up an Applebees and Old Navy because they don't want to have to drive all the way across town ... "and look at me! I'm now fuel-efficient!"
No; you moved into an ecosystem and killed it because it was inconvenient to you. You rationalized the murder by citing a circumstantial savings of a gallon of gas in your trips to the new bank on the corner.
[[Living off the land and living sustainably are the future]]
Not unless there is a complete breakdown of our technological society. While possible, it's not likely, especially from the causes that most people who grew up on 60s and 70s post-apocalyptic films would expect. It's been predicted multiple times, in fact, by such notables as Paul Ehrlich and Thomas Malthus - Malthus even got credit for the fallacious argument such *collapse of society* arguments are based on: they are called "malthusian crises".
The only practical cause of a degradation of society is from the collapse of the government, which - if history is any predictor - is 99.99% most likely to be the result of economic unsustainability. A government goes broke, it can no longer pay its bills, social institutions fail, society crumbles. This is particularly the case with large nations/kingdoms/empires. The smaller ones can be bailed out. ...Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Iceland, Spain ... But Soviet Unions crumble into pieces that go to war with each other. The US would crumble into various regionalisms as well.
You had better hope that "living off the land" is not the future, because it will be bad for millions. Just because it won't be bad for you doesn't mean you should wish it on everyone else.