Redefining Urban and Political Boundaries

I have a somewhat radical idea about how to increase overall efficiency in the United States. The nation is currently divided into fifty states that are all responsible for making laws that apply across the entire state. In some cases, when considering a new law or regulation, states are really only responsible for one geographic region, such as Rhode Island generally represents the Providence metropolitan area. Other states, such as Texas with its few large cities and hundreds of miles of farm in between, have to consider multiple urban centers and rural areas together when making decisions. It seems to me that in a  broad sense the federal government should bind the nation together, but that further subdivisions should have meaning that derives from the land itself.

What I propose is an actual separation first between urban and rural areas. Many rural areas tend to be either farms or lands reserved for some sort of physical production of a good. It does not make sense to have the same regulations in place for these areas as it does for urban centers. For example an urban area that falls under the jurisdiction of several cities may want to regulate street parking. To be most efficient this should be done at the state level so that it can apply equally across all of the municipalities within the densely populated area. Unfortunately, this would also serve to regulate parking in rural areas of the same state. See the problem?

A somewhat close example to what I feel is best can be found in the state of Virginia. Although it's rural areas are separated by county, it's rural areas are divided from it's urban centers through the use of independent cities. These cities could for instance make parking regulations that would not affect the rural areas surrounding them. Here is a map of Virginia's solution with independent cities shown in red..

In order to create the ideal solution that I envision, Virginia should merge large chunks of it's rural counties together to form geographically regionalized rural areas. The end result would theoretically be several "states" or simply separate political districts that are divided by functional region with urban political districts interspersed throughout them in the current locations of Virginia's independent cities.

Here in the case of Virginia, we would see five geographic divisions that would continue North and South into surrounding current day states with independent cities dispersed in red areas throughout the larger region. This change would ultimately make the political process flow more smoothly because it would create some sort of standardization within a district.