How Long Is A City Block (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 311 Feet Long

One would have thought of once in their life how the cities named and how they make the distances that this city is some few kilometers away to reach and this is the work of an engineer how they arrange the city blocks and what criteria are behind which gives proper information regarding traveling from one place to another place that is not known. Google maps help us at that time and one can also observe through these maps how much distance they are away from the desired city. These are the quiet experiences that everyone has gone through once in their lifetime.

It would be even more interesting and a lot of acknowledgment that how a city block is made whether in square feet or through any other measures.

How Long Is A City Block?

The known thing is that a standard city block distance is 311feet long and it is also a typical one. It is estimated that a city block is equal to 100,000 square feet by the engineers while making them. It is very important to know that a city block is not made by distance but the distance between the cross streets which would be 50 feet or 200 feet that depending on the place. So the two blocks are kept away nearly 400 or 600 feet so that each block could have 200 or 300 feet.

Though the standard is 311 feet long other blocks’ distance varies like oblong blocks range according to the length and width of the particular place. Also, the standard ones vary from one state to another state like in Manhattan that is in New York which is about 264 by 900 feet (80m and 274m). Other famous places like Chicago also have the standard ones that are 330 by 660 feet (100m and 200m).

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Here one mile is getting measured 8 north-south blocks or 16 east-west blocks that have been adopted measures by other US cities.

CitiesHow long a city block
Central Melbourne330 by 660 feet (100m* 200m)
Manhattan264 by 900 feet (80m*274m)

Why Is A City Block So Long?

One can say that a city block is that contains many buildings surrounded by streets within that area. It is a unit of the city’s urban fabric and these city blocks can be subdivided into many smaller land lots that are a part of tenure. Physical containers or street walls of public space forms the city blocks to varying degrees. It is not true that all blocks are the same because some may be greater or smaller sizes. After all, this varies according to the buildings and streets present.

Europe, Asia, and the Middles East are the industrial core cities that have irregular street patterns and urban blocks while the other cities have proper grid plans while making a city block. It was meant that the grid plans were planned but it was not a gradual development in which the streets were laid on according to the grid plan. The other thing is that the spacing of streets in the grid plan varies according to the cities like it is not always the same distance between the cross streets that is 400 feet or 600 feet.

Some old cities in Europe were not planned but got accredited over time which is the reason for irregular patterns of streets. A principle was and still followed in making a city block that is the Perimeter block development principle and this made people socially interactive because buildings were located along the perimeter block that faces the streets as entrances and had semi-private courtyards.

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Conclusion

In New York, a city called Philadelphia followed another principle called the Commissioner plan of 1811 for a better grid plan in which the rectilinear block subsided almost completely. Many rules and principles are adopted by different cities that came out proper in some and didn’t result good in other cities as an Engineer needs to adopt proper grid plans.

References:

  1. https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.7312/jone94184/html
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1618866719309112
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