From a spatial point of view, the pre-revolutionary urban block is a built-up area limited along the perimeter by four streets. The entire territory of the block is divided into separate plots, the entrance to which is carried out from the street. Buildings in the block are placed in continuous or detached order along the red line of the streets. With their prominent facades, they shape the public space on the street. The courtyards contain outbuildings of minor heights for different purposes and open spaces. The urban block emerged in the course of the regular plan represented by geometrically regular forms of blocks with typification of residential and public buildings.


The post-revolutionary urban block began to increase in size to accommodate social functions such as a kindergarten or school. Secondly, with the abolition of private ownership of land, the block lost its particularity and, in fact, became a single residential unit. Inside there are passages, driveways, utility and household sites. The space between the private and the public is increasingly blurred, although, in an urban block, it is still much more distinguishable than, for example, in a socialist city. Even though buildings are predominantly built along the perimeter, the spatial organization is becoming freer.


If the pre-revolutionary quarter is 100 on 200, by the end of the Stalin period, the urban block-ensemble could have sides up to 400-500 m. The urban block, in its pre-revolutionary understanding became by the end of the 1920s part of the Socialist City ideas The layout largely inherited the principles of organizing the space of the pre-revolutionary period - the city block, where experimental residential sections were integrated. It diverse new shape artistic approach for new ways of living it was part essentially a search for a new type of organization of the environment for the working class. However this housing type did not solve the problems of working-class housing since it was built in minimal quantities and mainly for management. The block was perceived as a single residential unit, including sports grounds, public spaces, and social service facilities necessary for servicing the residential complex. Such blocks, called "residential complexes", appeared in the 1920as over all in whole USSR territory. Each such project was developed according to an individual plan, e.g. the Butusovsky settlement in Yaroslavl, the Shabolovsky housing estate in Moscow, or the experimental quarter Gostyazhpromural of Yekaterinburg – showing the built structure living organism with a free layout that is not oriented to the perimetral streets. Block sizes vary from sizes of 10,000 to 20,000 m2.  



Pic. 03 Urban Block - Tomsk


› Round Table I