Comprehensive spatial differentiation of territorial communities: case of Zhytomyr region
Goal of the research. In 2014 in Ukraine the massive decentralization reform has been initiated. It aimed to transform many single administrative units into much larger territorial communities. Spatial differentiation of the newly consolidated communities by values of their proximity to large cities and urban areas within the case of Zhytomyr region is the goal of the article.
Methods of the research. Zhytomyr region is one of the most successful in Ukraine on implementation of the administrative reform, decentralization and best practices of the communities’ integration. The region had been selected for the in-depth study taking into account its central location, economic situation and the environment. Data of the State statistics agency of Ukraine, governmental and non-governmental institutions and Google Maps was applied to conduct the research and identify the territories’ groups.
The research results. Aiming to perform spatial typology of the newly consolidated territorial communities we differentiated them depending on their proximity to cities and other urban centers firstly. Consequently three types of the communities have been defined: neighboring, relatively remote, and faraway. Distance of the communities to urban centers relates with their area and people size: the closer a territorial unit is located to the city, the smaller is its area and population. Other words, the proximity of a community to the city determines its economic capacity much more than its population and area. Statistical relations between duration of the communities’ consolidation and their spatial types prove the faraway and relatively remote communities have been united earlier than the neighboring. Taking into account the average number of settlements belonging to the one consolidated community it is revealed the closer to the regional center communities include less number of settlements. Two-dimensional classification of the communities by their proximity to regional and rayon centers confirms communities located close to cities and towns have better opportunities for the development.
Novelty of the research results. The presented methodological approach to comprehensive differentiation of the territorial communities can be applied to identify their challenges, threats and prospects. For this purpose, the algorithm is proposed which combines indicators of spatial differentiation of rural areas, their economic status, social infrastructure, and the environment.
Practical significance. The proposed methodological approach to spatial differentiation of rural territories is aimed assisting representatives of the communities, local self-government bodies and state authorities to develop and refine local strategies and programs, update coherent plans and identify target communities for certain projects.
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