Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sub-national Entities the Right Way

I posted earlier about the inefficiency of having major American cities straddle multiple states. I hypothesized that things may be different in Europe. Turns out they are.

Germany is made up of 16 different states. But check this out, the two biggest cities (Berlin and Hamburg) are each their own state. How cool is that? Also a brief look at a map of the German States reveals that most major cities in Germany sit right in the center of each state and are usually the capital of the state.

In the US most state capitals are in the geographic center of the state. There is a certain logic to this, it is easiest for everyone in the state to get to. The problem is most major cities sit in the corner of the state at the mouth of a river and so you end up with situations where a government in Albany is making decisions for a state who's population resides overwhelmingly in a single city in the corner of the map.

Germany doesn't have this problem because the states are basically major cities and the surrounding area. If you look at France it's similar.

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