If street culture is the glue that holds together an urban environment, what happens when its denizens no longer need to go outside? This is one of the fundamental questions faced by architects today, decades after the New Urbanist movement first popularized, or rather brought back, the concept of mixed-use streetscapes—and more than sixty years since Jane Jacobs famously championed walkable streets as essential to building vibrant urban communities.
Long gone, of course, are the days when city streets were our only outlet or option for access to retail and other services. Now, the internet gives us all that and more: remote shopping, banking, education, and even healthcare. Meanwhile, social media has transformed the way we communicate with friends and neighbors. All of which is to say: we no longer need to go out for social interaction or to procure services, we choose to.