Social and Economic Costs of Spatial Chaos – Settlement of Rural Areas. Among the features of spatial structures of villages and characteristics of rural areas, which support multidirectional socio-economic development and improvement of living conditions of inhabitants and users of the countryside, the focused and compact character of the development is of particular importance. The observed lack of determination in preventing and limiting suburbanization processes, including in rural areas, directly and negatively affects both the natural environment and forms of development of these areas, causing the generation of additional economic and social costs related to the chaotic management of space. The aim of the article is to estimate the degree of concentration of buildings in various types of communes in Poland and to determine the spatial distribution of this phenomenon to be able to estimate the size of chaos costs on a global basis and determine its level in the comparative system of municipalities.
The emphasis on the territorial dimension of the public policy can be reduced to transition from a sectorial approach to an integrated territorially approach, which is based on the integration of activities of various public entities towards the territories referred not so much administratively as functionally. The functional areas (FA) is defined as spatially separated territory, which shares a common geographical differences, spatial and socio-economic conditions and the system of functional relationships and on this basis shares the uniform development objectives, ensuring effective use of its space. This understanding of the functional areas are to be the subject for intervention of the public policies. The regional development policy implemented by the voivodeship governments closely follows the findings of EU and the national strategic documents and intentionally uses a territorial approach to developmental challenges and problems. Such policy is focused (and will be focused) on the use of endogenous potential, including the territorial resources and knowledge, and will also allow for the interventions adapted to the local conditions. Thus, implementation of policy conceived in that matter is associated with geographic and thematic concentration with respect to the areas and key issues in achieving goals of the regional development. Identification of areas for which public intervention is necessary to fully exploit their endogenous potential – will be pursued with the assumption that they can have a problem character, but they can also be the potential poles of regional growth. The aim of the paper is to identify the integration processes between territorial units forming urban functional areas on regional level. In particular, it focuses on clarification the intensity of existing relationships and on the attempt to create and verify a list of criteria for delimitation of functional areas at the sub-regional level (by k-Means and Huff’s methods), assuming that each urban centre on metropolitan, national and regional level also carry-out the functions at sub-regional level.