METHODICAL APPROACHES TO THE REFORMING OF ADMINISTRATIVE DISTRICTS IN UKRAINE
Topicality. The need to reform subregional (district) level of administrative and territorial division of Ukraine is urgent as the result of forming of consolidated territorial communities and the change of liabilities division between the basic and district levels. Transition of the majority of liabilities from local governments to consolidated territorial communities has changed the nature and direction of communication links between the residents and authorities at the district level and contributes to reinforcement of district level of administrative and territorial units. Due to reforming of the system of administrative and territorial structure of Ukraine, a district becomes the territory of localization and functioning of state authorities. The major list of administrative, educational, medical, cultural and other public services will be provided at the basic rather than district levels.
Aim and tasks. The paper aims to substantiate and outline the suggestions regarding the methodical approaches to reforming of the system of administrative and territorial units at subregional level in the context of local governance reform and authorities’ territorial organization reform conducted in Ukraine.
Research results. The author analyzes the use of the concept of “district” in the context of administrative and territorial division and suggests its definition as administrative and territorial unit that is included into the higher-level units (Autonomous Republic of Crimea, oblasts, cities with special status) and is the territorial foundation for organization of activity of state authorities and local governments at subregional levels. District should include all administrative and territorial units of basic level located within its boundaries. Major principles, criteria and requirements to apply while forming the districts are suggested. Among those criteria and requirements, we outline the following: demographic capacity of a territory – usually between 150 and 800 thous. residents; transport accessibility of administrative center of the district from the most remote settlement – up to 1.5 hours (not exceeding 50-60km); the network of districts is reorganized without the change of oblasts’ boundaries; administrative center of a district is usually located closest to geographic (transport-geographical) center of district’s territory; administrative center of a district is usually the settlement with the highest economic and demographic capacity and developed infrastructure, which performed, performs or can perform the functions of subregional administrative center.
An algorithm of modeling of new administrative districts is presented as the consequence of steps: 1) finding subregional centers – perspective centers of administrative districts (usually out of oblast significance cities); 2) zone of gravitation to oblast center with the radius up to 60km is considered as the territory of administrative district; 3) outside its boundaries the other districts are allocated according to gravitation zones of other perspective centers of districts; 4) there are also factors that substantially impact their functionality and efficiency of relevant authorities: natural-geographical, transport, economical, managemental, historical, demographic, infrastructural, etc.
Conclusion. In author’s opinion, approaches to forming of administrative districts contribute to optimization of their network taking into account the changes in the functions of a district in the system of public authority division. Testing of these methodological approaches in the process of modeling of the new network of administrative regions shows an opportunity and reasonability of their reduction in Lvivska oblast from 20 to 7, in Ivano-Frankivska oblast from 14 to 4, in Ternopilska oblast from 15 to 4.
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