A simple, visual cue as to the level of "developed-ness" of a country in today's world is the technological level of its large constructions, such as buildings and roads. The more advanced the buildings and roads, the better they serve their functions, however these advanced structures are more costly to produce, and thus these are an all-around indicator of the development of various facets of a nation, from economy to environmental conscientiousness (e.g. so-called green buildings).
There are places in the world, such as tropical rain forests, where these large structures cannot be built without completely destroying the natural environment around them, no matter how "green" the construct. For these locations, the services and functions provided by large structures cannot be obtained, and much of the nation's modern development can be stalled.
One possible way to characterize solutions to this problem is by a measure of the self-contained-ness of a technology. By optimizing technological designs along this measure in addition to other measures, such as pollution production, energy consumption, and cost, one can obtain a rough idea of how suitable the technology is for implementation in regions of the world with natural features that would otherwise be destroyed by modern development.