I'm not much of a Joni Mitchell fan but there's a song she wrote and recorded in 1970 called "Big Yellow Taxi" that I'm actually quite fond of as far as her music goes. The chorus of the song is as follows:
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got til its gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot…
In 1993, after being married only nine months, we moved to Egypt which is where we spent the next three years. We returned home in 1996 and I haven't returned back to Egypt, although my husband did return about ten years after we repatriated. He reported that many of the beautiful villas in the section we had resided in had been torn down and high rise apartment buildings had been constructed in their places.
Closer to home, many of us have fond memories of AstroWorld, the theme park that stood in the shadow of the Houston Medical Center from 1968 to 2005. Just like the Joni Mitchell song, when AstroWorld closed, they actually did 'pave paradise and put up a parking lot' (to handle the overflow parking from the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo).
Progress takes many forms. It's hard to remember a time before cell phones. I remember early in my Graphic Design career when the Internet was new and I had to hand-deliver my print jobs locally. I didn't have a cell phone WAAAY back then and there were a few times when clients needed changes done to the very jobs I had just delivered. I didn't find out about the changes until I got back home and listened to the messages on my answering machine. So, yes. Some progress is definitely necessary!
Tearing down beautiful villas or even the rice fields that later became much of the City of Katy? Yes. As tough as that is to see, it was probably also necessary to accommodate the population growth. Turns out the "Big Yellow Taxi" was a cab ahead of its time.