How Many City Blocks Are in a Mile? [2022]

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“I’ve always been curious about the number of city blocks in a mile while strolling through cities. The variation in city designs has constantly intrigued me, and I have explored numerous cities across the globe, including both major metropolises and quaint towns.”

The number of blocks in a mile might vary depending on the city. While one city might have 30 blocks per mile, another city might have nine blocks per mile. In reality, the answer to this question may seem easy, but it actually depends on the specific city and direction.

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What is a city block?

A city block (or block) is a piece of land enclosed by streets. Each city will have blocks of various shapes and sizes. Some blocks may be rectangular, while others may be square, but blocks are typically the result of grid planning.

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Grid plans created blocks

A grid plan is essentially a urban development strategy that features streets intersecting at 90-degree angles.

The Great American Grid showcases diverse city grid designs and their aesthetic appeal. Moreover, the concept of minimizing land waste enables this variety. Buildings are typically constructed with right-angled streets to maximize efficiency and cost-effectiveness. The entire grid plan aims to efficiently utilize space by strategically placing roads between buildings.

Upward expansions allowing also while building for efficiency the plan grid a via created is size block the matter no, city each.

City roads should have a compass of directions since residents of the city do not require navigation to walk and drive, which is made simple with grid plans.

Construction guidelines can be standardized when all angles are consistent throughout the city.

Take a look at Boeing Geoff by examining histograms at the polar coordinates. Each city street has a unique city signature, so a compass can indicate the direction of the most oriented streets in the city network.

History plays a role

Grid designs usually occur during the initial development of a city. While certain cities may completely revamp their entire road network, others may opt to retain the original road layout from the city’s inception. The development of the city typically happens through the implementation of grid plans. Although some cities may choose to overhaul their entire road network, others may prefer to maintain the same road layout from the beginning of the city’s creation.

Nevertheless, historical events in a city can influence the implementation of grid plans.

Why not take a look at Boston? The roads in Boston proper are spread out in different directions, which were created due to the reclamation of land from the suburbs and the harbor.

The roads that were reclaimed in Boston’s plan following the grid were not consistent with the roads that were left during Boston’s network creation.

It would be another example of how roads in Charlotte can go in every possible direction. The city has landmarks that people can use to navigate the streets, making it a city where people have to use landmarks to navigate the streets. The city ended up using old farmland paths throughout the city, resulting in a spaghetti-like network of roads. Unlike other cities like Chicago or New York, the lack of future-proofing in the city was also because of the lack of expansion.

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Blocks are all shapes and sizes

Sometimes, blocks can even be in the shape of a triangle. They don’t necessarily have to be a rectangle or a square; blocks can be any shape. In a single city, there could be blocks of varying sizes. In one city, there might be more blocks than in another city. The blocks can vary between cities.

Depending on the viewpoint from which the blocks are observed, the quantity of blocks may differ, along with their diverse shapes and sizes.

Cities have specific uses where examples can vary dramatically between each city or even within a city. However, the number of blocks can average around 20.3 blocks per mile, based on our sample of major cities below a certain size.

New York City

Probably the most famous city that comes to mind when it comes to blocks would be New York City (NYC). Even though the city is not only the biggest city in the United States, it is also measured by how many blocks it takes to get somewhere.

The story of how the plans for the grid in NYC came into fruition is not only interesting, but also showcases the perfect structure block that was created.

The consistency of its perfection is evident in the meticulously planned grid of New York City. While the creation of rectangular blocks in 1811 by the Plan Commissioners became an iconic trend in modern city planning, it was during the implementation of the 1811 Plan that the vision truly materialized and New York City took shape.

Here, the blocks are numbered to determine the direction based on the given mile. However, in NYC, the blocks of numbers will determine the direction of your travel.

  • North-South:
  • West-East:
  • Moving 20 blocks towards the east will cover a shorter distance compared to moving 20 blocks towards the north. Consequently, the count of blocks when moving in the north or south direction will be greater.

    Travel advice: If you are staying in New York City and looking to explore, you may find our article on the top 10 tourist attractions in NYC to be of interest.

    Washington DC

    Washington DC is a beautiful city to explore, discover the different districts, and delve into its rich historical heritage. Even to this day, Washington DC remains one of my top choices for museum visits, with a special emphasis on those situated near the National Mall. This city holds a special place in my heart as one of my favorite destinations.

    The quantity of blocks per mile is calculated as follows: Washington DC blocks vary in dimension, with certain blocks being slightly larger than others.

  • North-South:
  • West-East:
  • Washington DC is definitely not New York City, but it is still conveniently traversable with a reasonable amount of city blocks per mile.

    San Francisco

    In the undulating hills of San Francisco, you can discover something that you adore – from the varied communities to all the establishments you can dine at. San Francisco would rank among my beloved West Coast cities.

    The quantity of blocks per mile is: however, it does vary slightly depending on the direction you go. Unlike New York City, San Francisco blocks do not have significantly different lengths.

  • North-South:
  • West-East:
  • If you find yourself in San Francisco, you might be tempted to walk the miles I have as your next destination. However, taking an Uber or riding the Cable Cars off to your destination might be better, especially since it’s hilly. Travel tip:

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    Boston is a city that is often overlooked and I believe it is worth exploring at least once in your lifetime.

    Boston should be known for its unique and competitive aviation market, which caters to both American and foreign carriers, offering numerous long-haul flights. However, it is not widely recognized as a hotspot for food and history, even though it boasts plenty of culinary delights and a rich historical background.

    Boston is made up of blocks that are measured in miles, similar to how NYC is. The blocks in Boston are much larger than those in NYC.

  • North-South:
  • West-East:
  • Unlike the majority of contemporary American cities, Boston does not have the most structured grid plan. In contrast, both Charlotte and Boston have streets that run in nearly every direction, deviating from the typical grid plan utilized by other cities. Instead, Boston and Charlotte possess streets that go in every direction, unlike the usual grid plan employed by other cities. The grid plan in Boston is not as organized as in most modern American cities.

    Many Bostonians use landmarks to navigate their city, as it caters to almost every direction due to its truly special and unique history of neighboring suburbs and land reclamation.

    If you happen to visit Boston, make sure to explore Acorn Street, sample the delicious baked beans, and immerse yourself in the vibrant arts, culinary delights, and rich cultural experiences that make Boston an exceptional destination. This is a valuable travel recommendation.

    Boston acorn street


    Detroit is now a beautifully diverse city that has emerged from the rubble created by the great recession, and it’s now a trendy hub with hotspots for food, culture, and art, rather than just a Delta hub.

    Detroit, in terms of the quantity of blocks in a mile, is comparable to NYC.

  • North-South: 9.
  • West-East: 30.
  • When journeying towards the west or east, the quantity of blocks per mile will increase. On the contrary, if you happen to be heading north or south, the quantity of blocks needed to cover a mile is significantly reduced due to the elongated length of each block.

    It combines elements of NYC’s blocky grid plan and Paris’ rounding grid plan, creating a unique overlapping effect. This means that Detroit’s two distinct orthogonal grids result in a fascinating layout for grid plans.


    Chicago, the Windy City, is known for being the biggest midwestern city and a very walkable tourist destination, at least in downtown.

    The direction you choose to travel in Chicago will not significantly affect the number of blocks in a mile.

  • North-South:
  • East-West:
  • You might be surprised by how the city of Chicago remains walkable even during winter, with temperatures dropping to 0 degrees and strong winds, and even when there is a foot of snow covering the ground, making it consistently flat and easy to navigate through its blocks.


    Atlanta is not only known for being a cultural hotspot and a musical hub, but it is also the headquarters of Delta. If you have visited the city, you have probably flown with Delta, which is located more than just south of Atlanta.

    Every corner you go to, you will admire the perfect square block almost at downtown Atlanta if you’re traveling. Has each mile.

  • North-South:
  • West-East:
  • No matter which direction you head, you will need to know that downtown Atlanta is about 18 blocks per mile, so if you have a layover or want to visit Coca-Cola, you now know how many blocks it will take to get there.

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    Portland is one of the most interesting cities on the West Coast, and it is known as the land of hipster vibes and micro-breweries. You will never be disappointed when you find some of the best drinks in the USA while drawing, as you may not find enough franchises that are hipster enough.

    Portland has almost perfectly square blocks with the same number of blocks per mile. It feels more like a town instead of a city because the blocks are smaller. The number of blocks per mile in Portland is:

  • From North to South
  • East-West:
  • In Portland, discovering yourself will not only be pleasurable for fantastic food but also for the trendy culture. It is certainly a fantastic destination to explore, regardless of your age.


    The city is filled with art everywhere, but it is also filled with great eats that are influenced by dishes from North and South America. It’s truly a captive hub for American Airlines, serving as the gateway to the South. Miami is where every teenager wants to go for the EDM festival held every spring break.

    You won’t have to worry about the distance when going in Miami because the blocks vary in direction, but it’s sunny year-round.

  • North-South:
  • West-East:
  • If you happen to visit Miami, do not forget to explore the nearby Florida Keys. These tiny islands not only have a more relaxed atmosphere but are also conveniently accessible via a short road trip.

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    Salt Lake City

    In the evening, you can experience the vibrant nightlife of Salt Lake City and then enjoy the nearby slopes during the day, where you can find numerous mountains. While Salt Lake City is not the only capital of Utah, it serves as a gateway to many mountains, making it a perfect destination for snowboarding and skiing.

    Another lovely thing about City Lake Salt is the fact that blocks are arranged in a perfect square, with a number of blocks in each mile.

  • From North to South
  • West-East:
  • If you plan on bringing your ski or snowboard equipment with you to Salt Lake City, it would be advantageous to familiarize yourself with the baggage fees for Delta. Since Delta has one of their hubs in this city, it is highly probable that you will choose to fly with them. Here’s a helpful travel tip:

    Final word

    In order to impress your friends, participating in a entertaining trivia night can be beneficial, as well as determining the distance covered while walking or driving. This will not only provide knowledge about the number of blocks in a mile, but also make a lasting impression on your peers.

    Steve, who utilizes credit cards miles and points, takes over 100 flights per year in cabin class business and class first, experiencing the top of some while in the sky. He holds top-tier elite status with almost every hotel program, such as Black GHA, Spire IHG, Diamond Hilton, Globalist Hyatt, and Ambassador Marriott. Steve has spoken at summits like the Austin Summit Elite FBZ. As a senior contributor for UponArriving, Steve spends close to 300 nights in hotels each year while trying to eat as much as he can and traveling the world.

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