Replace England's admin level 6 (and 8 in some cases) with admin level 10

This conversation is currently spread out across a few threads, so I decided to create this one to hold the full conversation. As I get the chance, I’ll link out to each of the conversations at the bottom of this post.

The core issue is that many places currently in CityStrides are from an admin level that many/most people find to be too large. They’re admin level 6 (or 8 in some cases), and it makes more sense to a lot of people for the admin level 10 to be brought into CityStrides instead.

Sometimes there isn’t anything smaller than admin level 6/8 - Leicester and York are good examples of that. In those cases, I’d leave it alone.

Still other times, there are cases like Leeds which only has some coverage at the admin level 10 level. In those cases, I’d leave it alone.

Never mind the full fiasco of London. Handling that via nested cities seems to be accepted around here, so let’s leave that as well.

Zooming pretty far into England (the Warrington area is a good example) and clicking the Run button in overpass turbo does a good job of showing how inconsistent it is. Though it does seem to be somewhat regional in the availability of certain levels.

You can change the 10 in that page to 8 and 6 to see the different levels of coverage.

Warrington is only covered by 6, with partial coverage at 10.
Wigan is only covered by 8.
East Northamptonshire is fully covered by either 8 or 10.

For these three cases, I’d have to take Warrington from admin level 6, Wigan from 8, and then be left wonder what to do with East Northamptonshire because I don’t have a “rule” to fall back on like “if 10 is available and provides full coverage, otherwise 8, otherwise 6” … or maybe that is the rule. :person_shrugging:

South Holland … do people local consider this a city/town? Or do people think of places like Holbeach?
To me this quote from Wikipedia:

South Holland is a local government district of Lincolnshire, England.

says that South Holland is too large (this is a district, this is not a city) and that Holbeach is the correct choice & Wikipedia seems to confirm this to me:

Holbeach is a market town and civil parish in the South Holland District in Lincolnshire, England.

I care less about the number of streets or size in km and more about what people consider city/town vs district/region/area/whatever.

I dont know how easy this would be to implement but you could use the same geogrphical boundries as the local elections as these hould all be towns, villages or cities Councils in local elections 2023 in England - A-Z - BBC News

My own town is an actual city Wolverhampton result - Local Elections 2023 - BBC News and this link shows the map.

For me somewhere like Doddenham, England - CityStrides with 4 roads totalling 1.5 is too small


I’m currently working through ‘Chilterns’ 1282 streets and would be a little gutted if this was chopped up as at 50%. From NW to SE is 20miles and I have reasons to travel about (parkrun in NW corner being one)

The long roads between the villages and looping is what I enjoy and these would be split if each village separated.

If split it would be Great Missenden, Amersham, Chesham, Chalfont’s (all of then together being St Giles, St Peter, Little Chalfont and Latimer). Plus Beaconsfield SW corner and others NE corner).

Just my thoughts



I have to say I’m in total agreement with Simon (simonherbert24) as I’m in a similar situation having been wandering the 1364 streets of Folkestone & Hythe (Folkestone and Hythe, England - CityStrides) for nearly two ( :exploding_head:) years now. Similar to Simon, this area is about 25 miles at its longest point, it has a few towns and plenty of those meandering country roads which I enjoy for a few hours on a Sunday morning amble.

Revising the admin level either bumps it up to cover almost of the whole county of Kent or splits my local area to about two dozen small areas; neither of these options are particular appealing to me.

I know just being a handful of streets off my 100% definitely affects my thoughts on this but, for me, this will have been a manageable task needing just enough effort to feel I’ll have accomplished something.

I imagine this is hard to deal with using broad brush strokes without upsetting someone along the line. Would it be too much effort to deal with each county separately in the UK? Google tells me there are 92 of them.

Anyway, just my tuppenceworth… :sunglasses:


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I’m voting the other way for level 10 coverage, for my home area Kenilworth in Warwickshire. I had it changed from 6>10.

Level 6 is Warwick district, population 142,000 people and 1462km of roads roughly. But its not a city, if I was to explain where I live I wouldn’t say Warwick district, I live in Kenilworth

Level 10 coverage has Kenilworth, Warwick, Leamington Spa all with different leader boards and more engagement and competition. But it did create small areas with a couple of streets so its doesn’t work everwhere.

@simonherbert24 and @unclemarmite If I was in your shoes going for a bigger area I would be super annoyed if someone requested a chang

@JamesChevalier Would it be possible to nest the level 10 areas within the Level 6 districts, like on Wandrer? That might make a mess of the database and slow down processing. Then I could see my town progress and the guys running the larger areas wouldn’t be upset.

Looking at France its looks to be split up into level 10 area size. Then Ireland is only at county level with huge areas. Then in the highlands of Scotland its the cities then everything else. I guess we are in this mess due to the UK’s administration structure.

I guess the people that reply to this thread are the most active % of people on the sight and passionate about citystrides. For me it combines my love of mapping/tracking and running.

Those are my thoughts, Will

Another question that could (or maybe not lol) help push closer to some answers is “what’s your address?” from the perspective of where you get your LifeMap Poster mailed. :wink:

Playing around in it seems like it’s “[street], [something], [admin level 10], [admin level 6], [post code]” e.g. “1 Conifer Heights, Sunningdale Estate, Knightwick, WORCESTER, WR6 5PP”
This seems to map well to the situation with City of Leicester e.g. “33A Friar Lane, LEICESTER, LE1 5QS”

From the “get mail to your house” perspective, it seems tied to admin level 10 places. I’m unsure if I’m interpreting this correctly, though.

The link you share lists “England Councils A-Z” and I spot-checked a few of those in OpenStreetMap. Every one that I checked was admin level 8. Additionally, Wolverhampton exists at admin level 8.

I didn’t see Chilterns anywhere - OSM or CityStrides - but I was able find Great Missenden & do a search from there to find Chiltern District. This is also admin level 8.

Congrats on your achievement - that’s huge!
But would you say that Folkestone & Hythe is a city?

It’s so tough … Boston is a city (4453 streets) & so is Alford (27 streets) … both valid.
Maybe there’s someone who’s trying to run every street in Berkshire County - that’s cool, but that’s not the granular level that CityStrides is currently at.

Folkestone & Hythe is also admin level 8. I’m definitely not looking to bump up from 8 to 6 in any situation. The only time admin level 6 is used is when there is no coverage smaller e.g. City of Leicester.

Maybe not via county, but definitely by … large sections of England.

Northern England (ignoring Scotland for this conversation) doesn’t have coverage at admin level 8

It does have coverage at admin level 10

As well as 6

Largely, admin level 6 is wrong. There are a few places that are only mapped at admin level 6 like City of Leicester, but those are isolated cases & I would not expect most admin level 6 places in England to exist in CityStrides.

The question for Warwickshire that I’m asking now is whether admin level 10 (Kenilworth) is more accurate or if admin level 8 (Warwick / Stratford-on-Avon) is more accurate.

So, reviewing your situation of previously having admin level 6 Warwickshire … would the admin level 8 Warwick make sense?

I was mistaken previously it was level 8 which is district level, so I asked you to change to from 8 to 10. Which I think is to large an area, so I prefer level 10.

I went to Wikipedia because “I think” and “I prefer” are red flags in this conversation.

Warwick is a local government district in Warwickshire, England. It is named after the historic county town of Warwick, which is the district’s second largest town; the largest town is Royal Leamington Spa, where the council is based.

Warwick (/ˈwɒrɪk/ WORR-ik) is a market town, civil parish and the county town of Warwickshire in the Warwick District in England, adjacent to the River Avon.

Royal Leamington Spa , commonly known as Leamington Spa or simply Leamington [note 1](/ˈlɛmɪŋtən/ ), is a spa town and civil parish in Warwickshire, England.

Non-metropolitan districts, or colloquially “shire districts”, are a type of local government district in England. As created, they are sub-divisions of non-metropolitan counties (colloquially shire counties) in a two-tier arrangement. Non-metropolitan districts with borough status are known as boroughs, able to appoint a mayor and refer to itself as a borough council.
Typically a district will consist of a market town and its more rural hinterland. However districts are diverse with some being mostly urban such as Dartford, and others more polycentric such as Thurrock.

In England, a civil parish is a type of administrative parish used for local government. It is a territorial designation which is the lowest tier of local government.

A spa town is a resort town based on a mineral spa (a developed mineral spring). Patrons visit spas to “take the waters” for their purported health benefits.

I scrolled down to the US listing of spa towns, and can confirm these are viably used as cities in CityStrides.

All of this information is suggesting that admin level 10, when available and providing full coverage, is the most correct level to define a city/town.

I’m looking forward to feedback on this.

Quite right James! I went to Wikipedia because “I think” and “I prefer” are red flags in this conversation.

Personal bias confirmed.

What you’re getting here are post towns, which I think (:golf: red flag acknowledged!) are basically what City Strides wants to have: List of post towns in the United Kingdom - Wikipedia

But, post towns aren’t defined anywhere in OSM as far as I can see. All the OSM boundaries seem to be various levels of local government, some of them current and some of them historic, some of them more or less line up with the town/city you put in your address and others are basically made up administrative blocks.


In reply to James -

To be honest I wouldn’t. I would say I live in the town of Hythe in the District of Folkestone & Hythe.

For me, although its now not entirely true, it was only if you had a cathedral you could be granted city status, somewhere like Canterbury here in Kent.

But then, to really muddy the waters, Rochester, again here in Kent, has a lovely cathedral but lost its city status when they formed the ‘unitary authority of Medway!’ :face_with_peeking_eye:

Do we have a vote to change from CityStrides to UnitaryAuthorityStrides? :kissing_heart:

I’m really not sure how this is resolved for the whole country, I only know that my little corner of the world is sliced up nicely into areas containing 1300 to 2000 streets in areas of 115 to 250 square miles. I suppose its just fortunate for me the districts (not cities :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:) work out this way.

Interested to see how this pans out.


Hi James, ref the postcodes suggestion. The city of Sheffield has the postcode S which includes Sheffield (obv) plus towns around it inc. Barnsley, Rotherham, Worksop, Chesterfield, Hope Valley, &c. There’s competition going on in some of those named towns, so I don’t think encompassing all into one would go down too well with some others. I’m happy having completed 6,388 streets of Sheffield :100: (roughly outlined in blue). Happy Easter, Jim

The current presence of Sheffield comes from the admin level 8 place. If I take my learnings from my previous post in this thread then I end up with these three places that don’t provide full coverage:

That mention of “don’t provide full coverage” is critical … Since the city center of Sheffield is only mapped by that admin level 8 place, I would not want to replace it with the nearby admin level 10 places.

The details in Replace England's admin level 6 (and 8 in some cases) with admin level 10 - #8 by JamesChevalier still guide me towards trying to validate this statement: “admin level 10, when providing full coverage, is the most correct level to define a city/town … falling back to level 8 … and finally falling back to level 6”

  • Sheffield is a great example of where I need to fall back from 10 to 8 for full coverage
  • Cornwall is a good example of an area where admin level 10 should be used e.g. Truro
  • Torbay is a great example of an area where admin level 6 should be used, since that’s the lowest level mapping there

I’ve noticed an adjacent issue in Scotland: the neighbourhoods of Edinburgh city (not the council areas) as well as the city itself.

I personally like this, as its obviously easier to keep track of, and complete smaller areas.

These subsets of cities don’t appear to persist throughout Scotland, it just looks to be Edinburgh. This seems like a strange behaviour, but I don’t know what’s happening under the hood.