Back to Page Authors: Zaakirah Jeeva

Keywords: regional administration, functional linkages, boundries, urbanization

Abstract: The world has evolved since the invention of the automobile. This change can most certainly be seen in the manner in which settlements have developed since the 1960s. Where once it was easy to manage a small town or city through local administration, in recent years these settlements have extended beyond the urban boundary to include the surrounding rural areas, forming regions. Subsequently, many governments globally have found it challenging to administer settlements that sprawl beyond their urban growth boundary (UGB), and have thus opted to spatially reform their administration by legally incorporating settlements to form more efficient local administrative regions. The question thus arose as to what is the rationale behind the spatial structural reform and how should administrative boundaries be demarcated from a theoretical perspective. In light of this, the article seeks to explore how administrative boundaries should be demarcated from a regional planning perspective by investigating the theory behind the buzz words such as “cost-saving, administrative efficiency, and nation-building”. It achieves this by exploring urban and regional planning literature from a political, economic and societal viewpoint. The article found that the demarcation of regional administrative boundaries is not that clear cut since they are open systems that are influenced by a variety of factors and actors. Furthermore, it is still unknown if larger administrations are more successful than smaller administrations or vice versa. As a result, many attempts globally have had limited success in terms of their spatial structural reform. It thus recommends that urban and regional planners globally conduct more research into this topic, in order to find a more structured spatial and administrative approach with which regional administrative boundaries can be demarcated – so that administrative regions can function more efficiently.