This article, titled "Paving Paradise" (reference Joni Mitchell) is about research done regarding the benefits of concrete pavement in third world countries. In places where disease is caught from creepy crawlies living in the dirt floor of a home, and there is poor economic development and low levels of education - studies conducted found huge improvements in health, commerce and school attendance in areas where homes floors and roads were paved.
One such project is in Mexico, called “Piso Firme” (Firm Floor), offers up to $150 worth of concrete to each household to pave the floor. The findings were written up in the American Economic Journal in a paper titled “Housing, Health and Happiness.” Though I can’t access the article directly, UC Berkeley wrote a bit more about it.
Studies found that parasitic infections of children dropped as much as 78%. That’s pretty incredible. While the “Paving Paradise” article author doesn’t condone turning the entire world into a concrete jungle, he does say that "a little concrete can go a long way toward cementing a better life for millions." I couldn’t agree more.