The Shopping Center
In the prologue to the book, Shopping Town USA, the authors, Victor Gruen and Larry Smith, state as a fact that shopping centers, market places, town squares, however they are called, are, and most probably will always be, the center of social activity and a necessity to the psychological functioning of human minds. From the beginning of time, there was always a need to trade things with others and sell what is yours for something better or newer. In the medieval times the market square was also a place for such things as town meetings, religious activity and transacting businesses while they did their shopping. Because of this, such activities seem to be showing that market places aren't just for buying but for social interaction as well.
When the city sprang up and the Industrialism boom began, the people of the city ran into suburbs built for the purpose of getting away from noise and clutter. Just on the outskirts of the city people flocked into suburban housing, cutting them off from the social square, the market place, the social ring. Instead people were forced to go their own ways and there was no longer a set location for people to meet. Cities destroyed the "centers" and instead replaced them with cold, smoking, steel factories.