Sub-municipal units (SMUs) play a relevant, but still underexplored, role in European local government landscape, whether from the perspective of historical self-government entities or the contemporary boundaries when dealing with new challenges of governance. This volume investigates the diversity of the models that have been developed and tested in different European countries. This rich intranational variety should be further explored in future research, since in many countries a challenging sub-municipal, “Lilliputian” world of governance, often covered by the shadow of parent municipalities, is waiting to be explored. SMUs may be very important for the future of the welfare state, for social innovation and resilience. Sub-local community development already plays an important role in the sustainability development strategies, for example in the areas of energy and transport.
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