I see this consistently - oaks, usually. Why not plant trees that are short lived and grow quickly (mulberry, tulip poplar, etc.) instead? And almost always the trees they plant never make it to adulthood as some other landscaper will come in, remove them, and plant newer, slow growing trees.
I think this depends on the city and builders guidelines where you live. Where I live the standard tree in front of each new house was the Ash (Fraxinus) or the Linden. Cheap because they propagated easily and a fast grower. Oak trees and hard maples were usually an upgrade.
Sadly the Emerald Ash borer has decimated the Ash species which comprises up to one third of the tree stock in my city.
Your question implies that Oaks are slow growing which is not always the case. In my area a weedy tree can put on more than six inches a year of top growth but many oak species can do the same.
This site in missouri quotes growth rates of up to two feet a year for a number of species including oaks which I find astonishing but growth rates for trees vary widely depending on location, species and after care.
Most urban arborists understand that the best kind of trees to plant are a variety of species so one problem like the Emerald Ash Borer does not cause such a significant problem.
What FUN!! You are incredibly observant!! One of the reasons I hated commercial work was that you sat at a table deciding what to plant, where to plant without being able to even go to the site. Deciding on types of trees and shrubs; number one priority was...what was on sale? Gross. Second, what would last for a long time before having to be replaced...(oaks, maples). I felt responsible for the HOMES given to the plants I chose from the nursery.
And THEN they stake these these these STICKS! Staking is so very wrong. Only to be used temporarily when using bare root plants or wind blown mature trees.
When I walk through a parking lot or development I CUT the straps of the stakes and around the tree and pull the dang mulch (non decomposed bark chips usually) away from the bottom of the trunk. Just doing those two things doubles, quadruples the life expectancy of any tree.
I stayed with residential. Cities were mind boggling retarded. Sorry, but true. Anyone can be a 'landscaper'. So sad. Landscraper...all one has to have is a mower, a weed wacker and a blower. Then people think these guys know what the hell they are talking about. So wow. So wrong. So much money is thrown at these idiots. When things don't go right, it is the client's fault, or the soil's fault, or better yet, the neighbor's fault.