Tristram Hunt’s terrific book about the rise and fall of the Victorian city in Britain is full of insights about about infrastructure. One reason for the decline of cities, for Hunt, was the failure to control housing densities. By 1897 the quaker inspired Cadbury Bounville estate was built at 20 dwellings per hectare, and Ebenezer Howard’s Garden City was built at a density of thirty dwellings per hectare – the latter being about one eighth the density of a traditonal nineteenth city street. The twentieth century carried on in this spatially sloppy way: Four million houses were built during the inter-war years in low-density suburbs; the greedy waste of land lasted into the 1990s when average density for new dwellings remained at 23 dwellings per hectare. The 1999 Urban Task Force chaired by (Lord) Richard Rogers proposed new build density of 50 dwellings per hectare, but this modest benchamark did not appear in the 2000 Urban White Paper. The developers and despoilers proved too strong. Tristram Hunt. Building Jerusalem: The Rise and Fall of the Victorian City. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 2004