There is more realization now than before that people want and need social interaction, to be outdoors, given the opportunity. I found this Jan Gehl article in the attached magazine from the Winter Cities Institute archives from 1992 where he talks about this.
Browsing the other articles in this old mag, it was interesting that a lot of what was being promoted back then for winter cities is just coming to the forefront in mainstream city planning today, such as the shift towards better walking conditions. But like Gehl says in the article, you really have to plan for a good city in ALL seasons. Even today, most northern cities don’t think about a lot about winter other than plowing snow the same way its always been done.