Sometimes disease, war, or innovation,
cause major dislocations in society.
Whole areas of the economy either shrink
or disappear, and other things develop.
The Black Death killed about 25% of the population in Europe in the late 14th century, and surviving workers were suddenly more valuable.
Railways killed off stagecoaches,
and made inns with stables obsolete.
The internal combustion engine
did even more damage to horse-breeding.
Right now we've got innovation
colliding to make another big dislocation.
As yet we can't predict the outcome,
but almost certainly city centres
need to be repurposed.