A block is defined as a square area of four streets, a single street inside a square area of four streets, or the length of one of those streets. A block is represented by the four streets that form the square around your property. The street where your house is located is an example of a block. So is a street within walking distance of schools and shops. There should be a total of 30 blocks on a city map.
In most cities today, blocks are made up of smaller areas called parcels. It is not necessary for every parcel on a block to have a house built on it. Some may have stores or offices while others may be empty spaces and still others may be sold with plans for future development. However, at least one house must be built on each parcel. If a parcel is without a house built on it, then the city has no legal claim to it and any future owner could build anything they wanted on it.
Blocks were first used in urban planning before there was accurate information about the size of buildings. They were also used as a way to divide up land into small enough pieces to be profitable to develop. Since then, they have been replaced by larger geographic divisions known as neighborhoods.
The term "block" comes from the fact that these are equal-sized areas that contain a similar number of houses and businesses. When cities were first being planned, property owners might want to sell their land in small enough chunks to be developed quickly.
What do Americans mean when they say "a block" as a measurement of distance? When we use them to indicate distance, we normally mean only one side of the square, where a block is the distance between two streets. But they can also be used to refer to any large segment of land.
In Britain, a block of flats is a group of apartments within a single building. In America, the term "flats" usually refers to low-cost apartment buildings, with only small, generally uniform, window boxes on each floor. A block of offices is an area of town occupied by many similar businesses.
Blocks of stores are found primarily in small towns and rural areas. There might be one general store that serves as the center for a block of shops. Or there could be several small restaurants located near each other. These would form the block of stores.
The word "block" has other meanings too. It can also mean a quantity of something that is measured in lengths or volumes of like items. For example, there are four blocks of ice cream in the freezer. A block of voters rejects the idea put forward by one candidate and supports another.
A block is a collection of buildings bordered on all four sides by roadways. "Go one block" refers to the distance between one street corner and the next. As you can see, the block is short if you are traveling along Broadway. And if you're driving along 150th St, the block is rather lengthy. A block is measured from front door to front door or from building line to building line depending on which definition you follow.
Now, about those blocks! The term comes from the fact that builders used one-block squares when laying out streets. These days, engineers use laser beams to measure exact distances, but early surveyors used geometry to estimate where to put roads and other features. They assumed it would be convenient to travel down each street once and return to your starting point—the end of a one-way street is always at a corner, while the beginning of a two-way street is in the middle. Modern surveyors still use this method to determine block boundaries, so one-way streets come without crossings and two-way streets include half-blocks and quarters.
One block is just under 0.1 mile (150 meters) for most cities. But since block lengths vary due to topography, streets are usually only one block long. In New York City, for example, there are about 1,000 blocks in a mile—so a person could walk nearly a quarter of a mile without ever leaving the scope of a single city block.
Rappers use the slang term "block" to refer to a specific region in their community. The block is that part of town where all the rappers from one or more crews are based out of. Usually when they say "I'm from the West Coast", what they mean is "I'm from L.A." or "San Francisco". There are also East Coast blocks.
The concept of the block originated on the west side of Chicago, where many members of the Gangster Disciples gang live and sell drugs. They divide up the city by selling blocks to different gangs so they can't fight each other. Based on this fact, it can be said that the block is a place where different gangs can share space without going to war.
There are four main types of blocks: the east coast block, the south side (of Chicago) block, the west coast block, and the middle school block.
The east coast block is based in New York City, and consists of neighborhoods like Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx. South Side Chicago has its own version of this block called the "south side block". It's based in mostly black neighborhoods, but there are some white ones too. The west coast block is in San Francisco and Los Angeles.