One of the biggest scandals in the US is how districts are drawn to benefit the party in power, to give them legislative representation that is much greater than their share of the vote merits. This is because the party that controls the legislature at the time of the drawing every ten years pretty much gets to draw the lines as it wishes as long as the area is contiguous and contains roughly equal numbers of voters. They thus can draw the most outlandishly shaped districts in order to concentrate most of their opponents’ votes into a few districts. Only the grossest abuses, the ones that use race as the main factor, get rejected by the courts, because race gets the highest standard of scrutiny. But if race is not an obvious factor, you can with impunity shepherd the supporters of the opposing party into a few districts.
Finding a way to draw districts fairly has been challenge but this method seems promising because it is simple and easy to understand.
With the new approach, one political party gets to draw an electoral map that divides the state into the agreed number of districts. The second political party then chooses one district to freeze so that no more changes can be made to it by either side. They then get to redraw the rest of the map.
Once the new map is complete, the first political party freezes one of the new districts so that no further changes can be made to it, and is allowed to redraw the rest of the map again. This process goes back and forth until every district within the state is frozen. In Pennsylvania, for example, this would require 17 cycles as there are 18 districts.
But the real problem does not lie in finding a fair way to do this. There are many such suggestions and this one seems to be one of the better ones. The problem is that the party in power is usually not interested in fairness but in increasing their power, so getting such a system adopted by the legislature will not be easy. This may be one of those rare cases where a constitutional amendment that is voted on by the people directly is the most desirable option.