Being an old fart I am highly resistant to change. I am, however coming around to the idea of replacing tents in my industrial or farming areas with colonies of small casas. (which a lot of the smart players in this game have been doing for ages) In fact, I put them in every chance I get - here's why:
Assuming the area already has prefecture and engineer coverage, upgrading small tents to small casas requires the following:
Total 29 workers
I like to build six small casas. These will house 102 people. This is a neat number because:
Granaries are not needed. The market ladies are only feeding 102 people, so if they only make one trip a year, they can easily get the job done.
This population will produce about 40 workers, so these settlements are paying for themselves as far as workers are concerned.
This same population will only produce about 25 school brats. This means that more schools are being built than are really necessary thereby reducing the temptation to build culture parks at the end of the game. Same is true of theaters.
Needless to say, getting rid of everything below small casas does wonders for the old prosperity rating.
I should point out that I don't do all this right off the bat at the beginning of the game. I start with small tents and build up as resources become available
Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks?
(Once you've whacked him along side the head a few times with a 2x4, to get his attention it's a piece of cake!)