In order to eliminate or greatly minimize the practice of gerrymandering, we wish to delegate the drawing of districts to more politically balanced, neutral or fairer entities. Independent commissions are touted as a more balanced alternative to state legislators directly drawing districts. Any such entities should be staffed with statisticians, surveyors and data analysts with some oversight. Their job will be to construct districts with equal populations (as nearly as possible) that contain associative community groups in such a way as to derive a higher number of competitive districts.
Some parts of a state, county, etc. will be more populated with a certain political tendency and their districts will just have to naturally reflect that. Other parts may be more mixed and a district structure arranged there should allow for more competitive races. The final districts settled upon should be chosen from an adequate number of proposed district plans submitted by the commission or whatever delegated entity.
Concerning district boundaries we understand that straight or smooth-curve lines as seen on a map at high altitude or satellite level can be a rougher cut at ground level - generally meandering about the satellite line when zoomed in upon and perhaps weaving within neighborhoods and between houses. We use the geometric term 'convex' meaning that all points within can connect with all other points within whose lines between them are within the district shape as well. This applies more at high-altitude and satellite level as opposed to close to the ground.
As many districts as possible should be convex or as lightly non-convex as possible when viewed from higher above. Greater exceptions are reserved to districts along the irregular boundaries of a state, county, etc. or those edging irregular panhandles and the like. As well exceptions are made to districts edging natural or man-made obstacles especially when those obstacles may limit interaction of groups of communities. Some obstacles may be dams, nature preserves, swamps, bodies of water, major highways and mountain ranges. Exceptions also pertain to districts containing more concentrated populations of sufficient size like large cities or metro areas or even towns in the midst of the countryside. Making exceptions for districts that will better represent a particular minority culture, creed or ethnicity thereabouts are allowed but should not go to absurd lengths or become the basis of district delineations.
Following these guidelines should eliminate or at least greatly reduce nationally the occurrence of unusually long, thin, wormy-snaky districts or those of land-locked, intricate, jigsaw-puzzle shape and way too pinched that are forced for electoral gain. Districts drawn under these guidelines as viewed at high altitude or satellite level will appear to assemble more smoothly throughout the core or backbone of whatever political entity geographically or population-wise.