I think the photographer was standing in an intersection when he took this photograph - the building edge on the extreme right suggests this. That would mean that the blocks in this area are very short, and it seems that the building in the center of the photograph has streets on at least three sides.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with short blocks (except for vehicular traffic flow) and a great deal that's right. The difficulty in arranging them is that the provision of an interior courtyard of reasonable size only becomes possible if the blocks are of a certain minimum length. The buildings in this area may have no courtyards at all, which would deprive their residents of any greenery except for window boxes and ivy. To my eyes, window boxes and ivy can be all an area needs, but many people will want more planting. Some places with a tradition of window boxes are just lovely.
There is quite a range of heights in the buildings - one is only three stories (and low ones at that) and another is four full stories plus a garret. This variation is about at the extreme limit of what works out well.
The sense of enclosure in this space is very fine. The proportions are comfortable and the street is a nice width.
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