From my current reading:
…community cannot form in the absence of communal space, without places for people to get together to talk. Just as it is difficult to imagine the concept of family independent of the home, it is near-impossible to imagine community independent of the town square or the local pub. Christopher Lasch has observed that “civic life requires settings in which people meet as equals. Thanks to the decay of civic institutions ranging from political parties to public parks and informal meeting places, conversation has become almost as specialized as the production of knowledge.” In the absence of walkable public places–streets, squares, and parks, the public realm–people of diverse ages, races, and beliefs are unlikely to meet and talk. Those who believe that Internet webs sites and chat rooms are effective substitutes vastly underestimate the distinction between a computer monitor and the human body.
In the suburbs, time normally spent in the physical public realm is now spent in the automobile, which is a private space as well as a potentially sociopathic device. The average American, when placed behind the wheel of a car, ceases to be a citizen and becomes instead a motorist. As a motorist, you cannot get to know your neighbor, because the prevailing relationship is competitive. You are competing for asphalt, and if you so much as hesitate or make a wrong move, your neighbor immediately punishes you, by honking the horn, taking your space, running into you, or committing some other antisocial act, the most egregious of which have been well documented… Suffice it to say that only rarely do two pedestrians gesture violently at teach other as they pass.
Duany, et al. Suburban Nation, 60-61.