In the community of the distant future people will primarily do most of their shopping in the community where they live or online. Shopping centers that exist in our rural culture will be largely a thing of the past as will be rural communities. Neighborhoods will be mixed use where residential and commercial/business property will be intermingled. Staples such as food and clothing will be within easy commute by bicycle or walking in these future mixed use communities. It also includes eating establishments and shops with consumables. This also provides jobs where people live. Other jobs will largely be done online. Long energy consuming commutes will disappear.
However this process of evolving into these sustainable communities will be very gradual and take 2-3 generations. Little will happen today other than perhaps streets becoming safer for pedestrians and bicyclists if civic leaders have a vision of a carless society of the distant future.
Perhaps in the lifetime of our children they will witness bicycle routs being made progressively more attractive and convenient. As more people start using their bicycles for short distance commutes, pleasure rides, and shopping fewer cars will be seen on our roads, not because people are forced not to drive but because people will start finding that cars are a far better no energy, no pollution, no cost, healthy, and more enjoyable form of commuting.
It will be our grandchildren who will witness the most dramatic changes as bicycles start to take hold and acceptance as a way of life and as public transportation become more efficient and effective as longer distance transportation (high speed rail). The drive to reduce greenhouse gases will have by then achieved universally acceptance discouraging anything using energy. As cars disappear roads will be closed and be made smaller for bike traffic and the occasional emergency vehicles of the future. Obsolete streets, parking lots and parking spaces will become available for more buildings as the population grows. Old rural housing will be replaced by energy and space efficient apartments/condos.
As our great grandchildren become adults cars will be a thing of the past and totally replaced by bicycles and public transportation. Rural areas will be things people see in pictures or read about. Modern-day energy efficient mixed use cities will become the communities of the future with subways with shopping areas for bicycles, pedestrians, and public transportation. Many things will exist that are beyond our imagination today for communicating, entertainment, making living at home more convenient, comfortable and comparable with living in smaller housing units of the future.
The primary source of energy will be small compact and safe fusion reactors located in every community to provide both heat, cooling, and electricity for local residents and for boiling/condensing water for recycle and reuse. This energy will also replace solar cells and wind turbines. Public transportation of the future will be run with fusion generated power. It will be a very different world.