Houses used to be oriented toward the street: front yard, then living room, then kitchen, then bedrooms. Implicitly your life was ordered in relation to the other people on the block.
Then for half a century, houses were turned around and oriented toward the back yard and the patio. As we re-order our family life yet again around the flat screen, and the mouse, new architecture dutifully reflects this. Yards are dispensed with altogether.
So is the street. New housing is tucked behind hedgerows of landscaping which obscure solid barriers like concrete walls and metal bars. Private streets, off-limits to the public, are created within the enclosure and christened with aspirational virtues: Courage, Honor and Justice. And Patriot.