Social territories and service territories are very different.
Examples of Getting it Wrong: The attempt to adapt social territories to service territories characterized Stalin's Russia. The attempt to design social territories based on services characterized the UK's 1974 reorganization of local government.
Read more about needs versus services.
Everybody is simultaneously a member of many tiers of natural community, that encompass each other (i.e. a person who lives in a suburb also lives in the town, and in the province, and in the country). The intensity of belonging and identification with each of these tiers varies from person to person.
At each tier, people must decide what theirare , find ways to meet those needs and obtain the required resources (money, land, people &c.), preferably from members of that community.
Each type of social need (e.g. for transport, for security, for education, for welfare) must be met at every tier—but each tier focuses on a different aspect of that need.
assembly work is required to regulate what is common to all countries
e.g. the use of the sea, environmental pollution
of governments can expedite interchange between neighbouring countries
e.g. the Channel tunnel treaty between UK and France; relaxation of border controls within the European Union.
governments take on responsibility for country-wide networks
e.g. the motorways, domestic air travel.
government must focus on travel within the region
e.g. highways, canals, long-distance bus services, licensing drivers.
government must deal with practical needs of residents
e.g. walking about the town, movement of emergency vehicles, access to service facilities of various sorts.
councils must deal with everyday interactions amongst people
e.g. local parking, bus-stops, rights of way, protecting privacy and local safety.
must manage travel matters in the realm of private life
e.g. care of a personally owned vehicle; allowance of time to walk to a bus stop.
The question of which need should be dealt with where is usually politically controversial because it is about access to power and wealth. Higher tier governments frequently intrude into or subsidize lower tier matters for political motives and create confusion. Public debate then becomes muddled and heated, on a topic where there is naturally much uncertainty and controversy at the best of times.
When a formal tier is missing, in a country or in parts of it, the aspects of need naturally associated with that tier must be assigned elsewhere. When this occurs, solutions often feel somewhat unsatisfactory.
The absence of a developedleads to work being done at the (too distant from users) or at the (too complex or too costly).
The absence ofoften leads to private associations being formed to fill the gap. Their lack of formal authority weakens their voice on neighbourhood matters.
The executive arm of theoften wishes to ignore or avoid using any devolved political entity to regulate or administer on its own account. However, the central executive may still accept that local variations and preferences will (or desirably should) affect exactly how the required regulation and stimulation is provided.
Subdivisions of the country are then usually required to ensure the appropriate and efficient provision of services and facilities. These may take account of local variations in:
Studies in the UK reveal that it has been divided up into territories of many sizes—in 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14 and more zones—to suit different services.
In setting up special agencies within administrative districts, a national government has various options including:
Originally posted: August-2009; Last updated: 15-Nov-2010