Have you ever seen a hospital or skyscraper made out of asphalt? Of course not, because it is not made for buildings. Concrete is made for many things, including skyscrapers. It is a trustworthy product. Heliports on top of skyscrapers are concrete so that large, flying machines can land on them. This kind of strength is essential in our world. Hospitals must have helipads on the ground or on top of a building, and many lives are saved because they are there. On and off ramps for highways allow us to move safely through the city or the whole country in any direction. The roads themselves are concrete in many places and have held up for decades with minor repairs. The nation is now at a point when many of these century-old structures need to be replaced, and concrete must be used to do it. Another century of use may be needed.
Most of us would probably quail at crossing a long bridge not made of concrete. Big bridges often shuttle traffic over wide rivers or deep mountain valleys. It’s easier to enjoy the view if the rider feels safe, and steel reinforced concrete is reassuring.
Those two-foot square columns holding up entryways in front of enormous structures look like security itself, and they are concrete. People don’t think twice about walking into buildings with covered walkways when these columns are holding them up. Grand entrances were the norm in the Gilded Age, and decorated concrete was employed to create the feel of pure luxury. Some of it was, literally, gilded, and shown like, well, gold.
Later styles of commercial and public buildings reflected stark, sleek, power-driven appearances of simplicity and no-nonsense business. The “canyons” of wind-swept passages in NYC and other large cities are made of concrete, both buildings and streets. These areas have such atmosphere, filmmakers cannot resist using them to create the mood. It would have been impossible to create such large urban areas without concrete.
In the same vein, the greatest cities in the world have concrete in common, and attract millions of visitors annually. London, Paris, Berlin, Rome and other large tourist meccas depend on it. As noted before, thousands of years of history and concrete use can’t be wrong.