Atlanta’s early neighborhood pattern fit the mixed-use pattern, with small clusters of commercial structures embedded in residential areas, except for the main business district downtown. Since transportation limited people to pedestrian distances, local shopping for everyday needs was a must, and local grocery stores had plenty of business.
Then, enough households had vehicles and better in-house storage (especially freezers), and shopping patterns shifted, and many of these local business closed. In our area, surviving businesses are overwhelmingly restaurants and sell splurge items (gifts, high-fashion clothing and shoes).
Now, the tide has turned again, and simulated local business areas are now newly grafted into huge shopping areas, part big-box stores and part fake local street corners, like this one south of Little Five Points. Unfortunately, few people walk to these commercial areas, or take the bus, so fossil fuels are used at higher rates than they might be.