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Zoning is a method of
urban planning Urban planning, also known as town planning, city planning, regional planning, or rural planning, is a technical and political process that is focused on the development and design of land use and the built environment, including air, water, ...
in which a
municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division Administrative division, administrative unit,Article 3(1). country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, constituent state, as well as many similar terms, are ge ...
or other tier of
government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In the case of its broad associative definition, government normally consists of legislature, executive, and judiciary. Government ...
divides land into areas called zones, each of which has a set of regulations for new development that differs from other zones. Zones may be defined for a single use (e.g.
residential A residential area is a land used in which houses, housing predominates, as opposed to industrial district, industrial and Commercial Area, commercial areas. Housing may vary significantly between, and through, residential areas. These includ ...
, industrial), they may combine several compatible activities by use, or in the case of form-based zoning, the differing regulations may govern the density, size and shape of allowed buildings whatever their use. The planning rules for each zone determine whether planning permission for a given development may be granted. Zoning may specify a variety of outright and conditional uses of land. It may indicate the size and dimensions of lots that land may be subdivided into, or the form and scale of buildings. These guidelines are set in order to guide urban growth and development. Zoning is the most common regulatory urban planning method used by local governments in developed countries. Exceptions include the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a country in Europe, off the north-western coast of the European mainland, continental mainland. It comprises England, Scotlan ...
and the
City of Houston Houston (; ) is the List of cities in Texas by population, most populous city in Texas, the Southern United States#Major cities, most populous city in the Southern United States, the List of United States cities by population, fourth-most pop ...
,
Texas Texas (, ; Spanish language, Spanish: ''Texas'', ''Tejas'') is a state in the South Central United States, South Central region of the United States. At 268,596 square miles (695,662 km2), and with more than 29.1 million residents in 2 ...
. Zoning laws that limit the construction of new housing (like
single-family zoning Single-family zoning is a type of planning restriction applied to certain residential zones in the United States and Canada in order to restrict development to only allow single-family detached homes. It disallows townhomes, duplexes, and multi-f ...
) are associated with reduced affordability and are a major factor in
residential segregation in the United States Residential segregation in the United States is the physical separation of two or more groups into different neighborhoods—a form of segregation that "sorts population groups into various neighborhood contexts and shapes the living environment a ...
by income and race.


Scope

The primary purpose of zoning is to segregate uses that are thought to be incompatible. In practice, zoning is also used to prevent new development from interfering with existing uses and/or to preserve the "character" of a community. Zoning may include regulation of the kinds of activities which will be acceptable on particular lots (such as open space,
residential A residential area is a land used in which houses, housing predominates, as opposed to industrial district, industrial and Commercial Area, commercial areas. Housing may vary significantly between, and through, residential areas. These includ ...
,
agricultural Agriculture or farming is the practice of cultivating Plant, plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of Sedentism, sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of Domestication, domesticated species created food ...
,
commercial Commercial may refer to: * a dose of advertising conveyed through media (such as - for example - radio or television) ** Radio advertisement ** Television advertisement * (adjective for:) commerce, a system of voluntary exchange of products and s ...
or industrial), the densities at which those activities can be performed (from low-density
housing Housing, or more generally, living spaces, refers to the construction and housing authority, assigned usage of houses or buildings individually or collectively, for the purpose of Shelter (building), shelter. Housing ensures that members of so ...
such as single family homes to high-density such as high-rise apartment buildings), the height of buildings, the amount of space structures may occupy, the location of a building on the lot ( setbacks), the proportions of the types of space on a lot, such as how much
landscape A landscape is the visible features of an area of Terrestrial ecoregion, land, its landforms, and how they integrate with Nature, natural or man-made features, often considered in terms of their aesthetic appeal.''New Oxford American Dictionar ...
d space,
impervious surface Impervious surfaces are mainly artificial structures—such as Pavement (material), pavements (roads, sidewalks, driveways and parking lots, as well as industrial areas such as airports, ports and logistics and distribution centres, all of which ...
, traffic lanes, and whether or not
parking Parking is the act of stopping and disengaging a vehicle and leaving it unoccupied. Parking on one or both sides of a road is often permitted, though sometimes with restrictions. Some buildings have parking facilities for use of the buildings' ...
is provided. Zoning is commonly controlled by local governments such as
counties A county is a geographic region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, Edinburgh in certain modern nations. The term is derived from the Old French ...
or
municipalities A municipality is usually a single administrative division Administrative division, administrative unit,Article 3(1). country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, constituent state, as well as many similar terms, are ge ...
, though the nature of the zoning regime may be determined or limited by state or national planning authorities or through enabling legislation. In some countries, e. g. France, Germany or Canada, zoning plans must comply with upper-tier (national, regional, state, provincial) planning and policy statements. In the case of Germany this code includes contents of zoning plans as well as the legal procedure. In Australia, land under the control of the Commonwealth (federal) government is not subject to state planning controls. The United States and other federal countries are similar. Zoning and urban planning in France and Germany are regulated by national or federal codes. In the case of Germany this code includes contents of zoning plans as well as the legal procedure. The details of how individual planning systems incorporate zoning into their regulatory regimes varies though the intention is always similar. For example, in the state of Victoria, Australia, land use zones are combined with a system of planning scheme overlays to account for the multiplicity of factors that impact on desirable urban outcomes in any location. Most zoning systems have a procedure for granting
variance In probability theory and statistics, variance is the expected value, expectation of the squared Deviation (statistics), deviation of a random variable from its population mean or sample mean. Variance is a measure of statistical dispersion, di ...
s (exceptions to the zoning rules), usually because of some perceived hardship caused by the particular nature of the property in question.


Origins and history of zoning

The origins of zoning districts can be traced back to
antiquity Antiquity or Antiquities may refer to: Historical objects or periods Artifacts *Antiquities Antiquities are objects from Ancient history, antiquity, especially the civilizations of the Mediterranean: the Classical antiquity of Greece and Ro ...
. The ancient walled city was the predecessor for classifying and regulating land, based on use. Outside the city walls were the undesirable functions, which were usually based on noise and smell; that was also where the poorest people lived. The space between the walls is where unsanitary and dangerous activities occurred such as butchering, waste disposal, and brick-firing. Within the walls were civic and religious places, and where the majority of people lived. Beyond distinguishing between urban and non-urban land, most ancient cities further classified land types and uses inside their walls. This was practiced in many regions of the world – for example, in China during the
Zhou Dynasty The Zhou dynasty ( ; Old Chinese (Reconstructions of Old Chinese#Baxter–Sagart (2014), B&S): *''tiw'') was a Dynasties in Chinese history, royal dynasty of China that followed the Shang dynasty. Having lasted 789 years, the Zhou dynasty was t ...
(1046 – 256 BC), in India during the Vedic Era (1500 – 500 BC), and in the military camps that spread throughout the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Romanum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Roman Republic, Republican period of ancient Rome. As a polity, it included large territorial holdings aro ...
(31 BC – 476 AD). Because residential districts made up the majority of cities, early forms of districting were usually along ethnic and occupational divides; generally, class or status diminished from the city centre outward. One legal form of enforcing this was the caste system. While space was carved out for important public institutions, places of worship, retail stores, markets and squares, there is one major distinction between cities of antiquity and today. Throughout antiquity, up until the onset of the
Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Great Britain, continental Europe, and the United States, that occurred during the period from around 1760 to about 1820–1840. This transition included going fr ...
(1760–1840), most work took place within the home. Therefore, residential areas also functioned as places of labor, production, and commerce. The definition of home was tied to the definition of economy, which caused a much greater mixing of uses within the residential quarters of cities. Throughout the Enlightenment and
Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Great Britain, continental Europe, and the United States, that occurred during the period from around 1760 to about 1820–1840. This transition included going fr ...
, cultural and socio-economic shifts led to the rapid increase in the enforcement and invention of urban regulations. The shifts were informed by a new scientific rationality, the advent of mass production and complex manufacturing, and the subsequent onset of urbanization. Industry leaving the home reshaped modern cities. Overcrowding, pollution, and the urban squalor associated with factories were major concerns that led city officials and planners to consider the need for functional separation of uses. France, Germany, and Britain are where pseudo-zoning was invented to prevent polluting industries to be built in residential areas. Early uses of modern zoning were seen in Germany in the late-19th century.


Types

There are a great variety of zoning types, some of which focus on regulating building form and the relation of buildings to the street with mixed uses, known as form-based, others with separating land uses, known as use-based, or a combination thereof. Use-based zoning systems can comprise single-use zones, mixed-use zones - where a compatible group of uses are allowed to co-exist - or a combination of both single and mixed-use zones in one system.


Single-use zoning

Single-use zoning is where only one kind of use is allowed per zone. Known as ''
Euclidean zoning Zoning in the United States includes various land use laws falling under the Police power (United States constitutional law), police power rights of state governments and local governments to exercise authority over privately owned real property. ...
'' in North America because of a court case in
Euclid, Ohio Euclid is a city in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, United States. It is an Inner suburb, inner ring suburb of Cleveland. As of the United States Census 2020, 2020 census, the city had a total population of 49,692. History The City of Euclid was origina ...
, which established its constitutionality, '' Village of Euclid, Ohio v. Ambler Realty Co.'' , it has been the dominant system of zoning in North America since its first implementation. Commonly defined single-use zones include: residential, mixed residential-commercial, commercial, industrial and spatial (e. g.
power plants A power station, also referred to as a power plant and sometimes generating station or generating plant, is an industrial facility for the electricity generation, generation of electric power. Power stations are generally connected to an el ...
, sports complexes,
airport An airport is an aerodrome with extended facilities, mostly for commercial air transport. Airports usually consists of a landing area, which comprises an aerially accessible open space including at least one operationally active surface ...
s,
shopping mall A shopping mall (or simply mall) is a North American term for a large indoor shopping center, usually Anchor tenant, anchored by department stores. The term "mall" originally meant pedestrian zone, a pedestrian promenade with shops along it (that ...
s etc.). Each category can have a number of sub-categories, for example, within the commercial category there may be separate zones for small-retail, large retail, office use, lodging and others, while industrial may be subdivided into heavy manufacturing, light assembly and warehouse uses. In Germany, each category has a designated limit for noise emissions (not part of the building code, but federal emissions code). In the United States or Canada, for example, residential zones can have the following sub-categories: # Residential occupancies containing sleeping units where the occupants are primarily transient in nature, including: boarding houses,
hotel A hotel is an establishment that provides paid lodging on a short-term basis. Facilities provided inside a hotel room may range from a modest-quality mattress in a small room to large suites with bigger, higher-quality beds, a dresser, a ref ...
s,
motel A motel, also known as a motor hotel, motor inn or motor lodge, is a hotel designed for motorists, usually having each room entered directly from the parking area for motor vehicles rather than through a central lobby. Entering dictionaries ...
s. # Residential occupancies containing sleeping units or more than two dwelling units where the occupants are primarily permanent in nature, including: apartment houses,
convent A convent is a community of monks, nuns, Brother (Christian), religious brothers or, Religious sister (Catholic), sisters or priests. Alternatively, ''convent'' means the building used by the community. The word is particularly used in the Catho ...
s,
dormitories A dormitory (originated from the Latin word ''dormitorium'', often abbreviated to dorm) is a building primarily providing sleeping and residential quarters for large numbers of people such as boarding school, high school, college or university s ...
. # Residential occupancies where the occupants are primarily permanent in nature and not classified as ''Group R-1'', ''R-2'', ''R-4'' or ''I'', including: buildings that do not contain more than two dwelling units, adult care facilities for five or fewer persons for less than 24 hours. # Residential occupancies where the buildings are arranged for occupancy as residential care/assisted living facilities including more than five but not more than 16 occupants.


History

Separation between uses is a feature of many
planned cities A planned community, planned city, planned town, or planned settlement is any community that was carefully planned from its inception and is typically constructed on previously undeveloped land. This contrasts with settlements that evolve ...
designed before the advent of zoning. A notable example is
Adelaide Adelaide ( ) is the list of Australian capital cities, capital city of South Australia, the state's largest city and the list of cities in Australia by population, fifth-most populous city in Australia. "Adelaide" may refer to either Greater A ...
in South Australia, whose city centre, along with the suburb of
North Adelaide North Adelaide is a predominantly residential precinct (Australia), precinct and suburb of the City of Adelaide in South Australia, situated north of the River Torrens and within the Adelaide Park Lands. History Surveyor-General William Ligh ...
, is surrounded on all sides by a park, the
Adelaide Park Lands The Adelaide Park Lands are the figure-eight of land spanning both banks of the River Torrens between Hackney and Thebarton and separating the City of Adelaide area (which includes both Adelaide city centre and North Adelaide) from the surro ...
. The park was designed by
Colonel William Light William Light (27 April 1786 – 6 October 1839), also known as Colonel Light, was a British-British Malaya, Malayan naval and army officer. He was the first Surveyor General of South Australia, Surveyor-General of the History of South Aus ...
in 1836 in order to physically separate the city centre from its suburbs. Low density residential areas surround the park, providing a pleasant walk between work in the city within and the family homes outside. Sir Ebenezer Howard, founder of the
garden city movement The garden city movement was a 20th century urban planning movement promoting satellite communities surrounding the central city and separated with Green belt, greenbelts. These Garden Cities would contain proportionate areas of residences, i ...
, cited Adelaide as an example of how green open space could be used to prevent cities from expanding beyond their boundaries and coalescing. His design for an ideal city, published in his 1902 book Garden Cities of To-morrow, envisaged separate concentric rings of public buildings, parks, retail space, residential areas and industrial areas, all surrounded by open space and farmland. All retail activity was to be conducted within a single glass-roofed building, an early concept for the modern
shopping centre A shopping center (American English American English, sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of variety (linguistics), varieties of the English language native to the United States. English is the Languages o ...
inspired by
the Crystal Palace The Crystal Palace was a cast iron and plate glass structure, originally built in Hyde Park, London, Hyde Park, London, to house the Great Exhibition of 1851. The exhibition took place from 1 May to 15 October 1851, and more than 14,000 exhibit ...
. However, these planned or ideal cities were static designs embodied in a single masterplan. What was lacking was a regulatory mechanism to allow the city to develop over time, setting guidelines to developers and private citizens over what could be built where. This came in 1916, when
New York City New York, often called New York City or NYC, is the List of United States cities by population, most populous city in the United States. With a 2020 population of 8,804,190 distributed over , New York City is also the L ...
enacted the first city-wide zoning ordinance. The application of single-use zoning has led to the distinctive form of many cities in the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
,
Canada Canada is a country in North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering over , making it the world ...
,
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. With an area of , Australia is the largest country by ...
and
New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It consists of two main landmasses—the North Island () and the South Island ()—and over 700 List of islands of New Zealand, smaller islands. It is the ...
, in which a very dense
urban core A city centre is the commercial, cultural and often the historical, political, and geographic heart of a city. The term "city centre" is primarily used in British English, and closely equivalent terms exist in other languages, such as "" in Fren ...
, often containing
skyscraper A skyscraper is a tall continuously habitable building having multiple floors. Modern sources currently define skyscrapers as being at least or in height, though there is no universally accepted definition. Skyscrapers are very tall Tower bl ...
s, is surrounded by low density residential
suburb A suburb (more broadly suburban area) is an area within a metropolitan area, which may include Commercial area, commercial and mixed-use development, mixed-use, that is primarily a residential area. A suburb can exist either as part of a ...
s, characterised by large
garden A garden is a planned space, usually outdoors, set aside for the cultivation, display, and enjoyment of plants and other forms of nature. The single feature identifying even the wildest wild garden is ''control''. The garden can incorporate bot ...
s and leafy streets. Some metropolitan areas such as Minneapolis–St Paul, the
San Francisco Bay Area The San Francisco Bay Area, often referred to as simply the Bay Area, is a populous region surrounding the San Francisco Bay, San Francisco, San Pablo Bay, San Pablo, and Suisun Bay estuary, estuaries in Northern California. The Bay Area is de ...
, and
Sydney Sydney ( ) is the capital city of the States and territories of Australia, state of New South Wales, and the most populous city in both Australia and List of cities in Oceania by population, Oceania. Located on Australia's east coast, the metro ...
have several such cores.


Mixed-use zoning

Planning and community activist
Jane Jacobs Jane Jacobs (''née'' Butzner; 4 May 1916 – 25 April 2006) was an American-Canadian journalist, author, theorist, and activist who influenced urban studies, sociology, and economics. Her book '' The Death and Life of Great American Cities ...
wrote extensively on the connections between the separation of uses and the failure of
urban renewal Urban renewal (also called urban regeneration in the United Kingdom and urban redevelopment in the United States) is a program of land redevelopment often used to address urban decay in cities. Urban renewal involves the clearing out of blighte ...
projects in New York City. She advocated dense
mixed use development Mixed-use is a kind of urban development Urban means "related to a city". In that sense, the term may refer to: * Urban area, geographical area distinct from rural areas * Urban culture, the culture of towns and cities Urban may also refer ...
s and walkable streets. In contrast to villages and towns, in which many residents know one another, and low-density outer suburbs that attract few visitors, cities and inner city areas have the problem of maintaining order between strangers. This order is maintained when, throughout the day and evening, there are sufficient people present with eyes on the street . This can be accomplished in successful urban districts that have a great diversity of uses, creating interest and attracting visitors. Jacob's writings, along with increasing concerns about urban sprawl, are often credited with inspiring the
New Urbanism New Urbanism is an urban design Urban design is an approach to the design of buildings and the spaces between them that focuses on specific design processes and outcomes. In addition to designing and shaping the physical features of towns, c ...
movement. To accommodate the New Urbanist vision of walkable communities combining cafés,
restaurant A restaurant is a business that prepares and serves food and drinks to customers. Meals are generally served and eaten on the premises, but many restaurants also offer take-out and Delivery (commerce), food delivery services. Restaurants vary g ...
s,
office An office is a space where an Organization, organization's employees perform Business administration, administrative Work (human activity), work in order to support and realize objects and Goals, plans, action theory, goals of the organizati ...
s and residential development in a single area, mixed-use zones have been created within some zoning systems. These still use the basic regulatory mechanisms of zoning, excluding incompatible uses such as
heavy industry Heavy industry is an Industry (economics), industry that involves one or more characteristics such as large and weight, heavy products; large and heavy equipment and facilities (such as heavy equipment, large machine tools, huge buildings and la ...
or sewage farms, while allowing compatible uses such as residential, commercial and retail activities so that people can live, work and socialise within a compact geographic area. Examples include: *
Melbourne Melbourne ( ; Boonwurrung language, Boonwurrung/Woiwurrung–Taungurung language, Woiwurrung: ''Narrm'' or ''Naarm'') is the List of Australian capital cities, capital and List of cities in Australia by population, most populous city of the St ...
, Victoria, Australia *
Baltimore Baltimore ( , locally: or ) is the List of municipalities in Maryland, most populous city in the U.S. state of Maryland, fourth most populous city in the Mid-Atlantic (United States), Mid-Atlantic, and List of United States cities by popula ...
, Marylan
Baltimore, MD City Code, Art. 32 § 6-201 (2017).
* Saint Anthony, Idah
St. Anthony, ID Municipal Code §§ 17.06.090-17.06.120


Form-based zoning

Form-based zoning regulates not the type of land use, but the form that land use may take. For instance, form-based zoning in a dense area may insist on low setbacks, high density, and pedestrian accessibility.
Form-based code A Form-Based Code (FBC) is a means of regulating land development to achieve a specific urban form. Form-Based Codes foster predictable built results and a high-quality public realm by using physical form (rather than separation of uses) as the or ...
s (FBCs) are designed to directly respond to the physical structure of a community in order to create more walkable and adaptable environments.http://plannersweb.com/wp-content/uploads/2001/04/265.pdf New York's
1916 Zoning Resolution The 1916 Zoning Resolution in New York City was the first citywide Zoning in the United States, zoning code in the United States. The zoning resolution reflected both borough and local interests, and was proposed after the Equitable Building (Ma ...
also contained elements of form-based zoning. This was a reaction to The Equitable Building which towered over the neighbouring residences, diminishing the availability of sunshine. It mandated setbacks to tall buildings involving a mathematical formula based on the height and lot size, and led to the iconic shapes of many
early skyscrapers The earliest stage of skyscraper design encompasses buildings built between 1884 and 1945, predominantly in the American cities of New York City, New York and Chicago. Cities in the United States were traditionally made up of low-rise buildings, ...
. New York City went on to develop ever more complex regulations, including floor-area ratio regulations,
air rights Air rights are the property interest in the "space" above the earth's surface. Generally speaking, owning, or renting, land or a building includes the right to use and build in the space above the land without interference by others. This legal ...
and others for specific neighborhoods. The French planning system is mostly form-based; zoning codes in French cities generally allow many types of uses. The key differences between zones are based on the density of each use on a site. For example, a low-density zone may have the same permissible uses as a high-density zone. However, the proportion of residential uses in the low-density zone would be greater than in the high-density zone for economic rather than regulatory reasons. The city of
Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated population of 2,165,423 residents in 2019 in an area of more than 105 km² (41 sq mi), ma ...
has used its zoning system to concentrate high density office buildings in the district of
La Défense La Défense () is a major business district in France, located west of the city limits of Paris. It is part of the Paris metropolitan area in the Île-de-France region, located in the Departments of France, department of Hauts-de-Seine in the C ...
rather than allow heritage buildings across the city to be demolished to make way for them, as is often the case in London or New York. The construction of the Montparnasse Tower in 1973 led to an outcry. As a result, two years after its completion the construction of buildings over seven storeys high in the city centre was banned.


Conditional zoning

Conditional zoning allows for increased flexibility and permits municipalities to respond to the unique features of a particular land use application. Uses which might be disallowed under current zoning, such as a school or a community center can be permitted via conditional use zoning. Conditional use permits (also called special use permits) enable land uses that because of their special nature may be suitable only in certain locations, or arranged or operated in a particular manner. For example: * Local agencies can restrict the time, place and manner in which convenience stores, liquor stores and fast-food outlets operate. * Community gardens can be allowed under specified conditions in certain zones. * As a condition of approval, large mixed-use development projects can be encouraged or required to offer to lease commercial space for a grocery store in a neighborhood that lacks access to healthy foods.


Pattern zoning

Pattern zoning is a zoning technique in which a municipality provides licensed pre-approved building designs, typically with an expedited permitting process. Pattern zoning is used to reduce barriers to housing development, create more affordable housing, reduce burdens on permit-review staff, and create quality housing designs within a certain neighborhood or jurisdiction. Pattern zoning may also be used to promote certain building types such as missing middle housing and affordable small-scale commercial properties. In some cases, a municipality purchases design patterns and constructs the properties themselves while in other cases the municipality offers the patterns for private development.


By country


Australia

The legal framework for land use zoning in Australia is established by States and Territories, hence each State or Territory has different zoning rules. Land use zones are generally defined at local government level, and most often called Planning Schemes. In reality, however in all cases the state governments have an absolute ability to overrule the local decision-making. There are administrative appeal processes such as VCAT to challenge decisions. Statutory planning, otherwise known as town planning, development control or development management, refers to the part of the planning process that is concerned with the regulation and management of changes to land use and development. Planning and zoning have a great political dimension, with governments often criticized for favouring developers; also nimbyism is very prevalent.


Canada

In Canada, land-use control is a provincial responsibility deriving from the constitutional authority over property and civil rights. This authority had been granted to the provinces under the
British North America Acts The British North America Acts 1867–1975 are a series of Acts of Parliament that were at the core of the constitution of Canada. Most were enacted by the Parliament of the United Kingdom and some by the Parliament of Canada. In Canada, s ...
of 1867 and was carried forward in the
Constitution Act, 1982 The ''Constitution Act, 1982'' (french: link=no, Loi constitutionnelle de 1982) is a part of the Constitution of Canada.Formally enacted as Schedule B of the ''Canada Act 1982'', enacted by the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Section 60 of t ...
. The zoning power relates to ''real property'', or land and the improvements constructed thereon that become part of the land itself (in Québec, ''immeubles''). The provinces empowered the municipalities and regions to control the use of land within their boundaries, letting the municipalities establish their own zoning by-laws. There are provisions for control of land use in unorganized areas of the provinces. Provincial tribunals are the ultimate authority for appeals and reviews.


France

In France, the Code of Urbanism or Code de l’urbanisme (called the Town Planning Code )a national law, guides regional and local planning and outlines procedures for obtaining building permits. Unlike England where planners must use their discretion to allow use or building type changes, private development in France is permitted as long as the developer follows the legally-binding regulations.


Japan

Zoning districts are classified into twelve use zones. Each zone determines a building's shape and permitted uses. A building's shape is controlled by zonal restrictions on allowable
floor area ratio Floor area ratio (FAR) is the ratio of a building's total Floor area (building), floor area (gross floor area) to the size of the piece of land upon which it is built. It is often used as one of the regulations in city planning along with the build ...
and height (in absolute terms and in relation with adjacent buildings and roads). These controls are intended to allow adequate light and ventilation between buildings and on roads. Instead of single-use zoning, zones are defined by the "most intense" use permitted. Uses of lesser intensity are permitted in zones where higher intensity uses are permitted but higher intensity uses are not allowed in lower intensity zones.


New Zealand

New Zealand's planning system is grounded in effects-based Performance Zoning under the Resource Management Act.


Philippines

Zoning and land use planning in the Philippines is governed by the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) and previously by the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB), which lays out national zoning guidelines and regulations, and oversees the preparation and implementation of comprehensive land use plans (CLUPs) and zoning ordinances by city and municipal governments under their mandate in the Local Government Code of 1991 (Republic Act No. 7160). The present zoning scheme used in the Philippines is detailed in the HLURB's Model Zoning Ordinance published in 2014, which outlines 26 basic zone types based on primary usage and building regulations (as defined in the National Building Code), and also includes
public domain The public domain (PD) consists of all the creative work to which no Exclusive exclusive intellectual property rights apply. Those rights may have expired, been forfeited, expressly waived, or may be inapplicable. Because those rights have ...
and water bodies within the municipality's jurisdiction. Local governments may also add overlays identifying special use zones such as areas prone to
natural disaster A natural disaster is "the negative impact following an actual occurrence of natural hazard in the event that it significantly harms a community". A natural disaster can cause loss of life or damage property, and typically leaves some econo ...
s, ancestral lands of
indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples are culturally distinct ethnic groups whose members are directly descended from the earliest known inhabitants of a particular geographic region and, to some extent, maintain the language and culture of those original people ...
(IPs), heritage zones,
ecotourism Ecotourism is a form of tourism Tourism is travel for pleasure or business; also the theory and practice of touring (disambiguation), touring, the business of attracting, accommodating, and entertaining tourists, and the business of operating ...
areas,
transit-oriented development In urban planning, transit-oriented development (TOD) is a type of Real estate development, urban development that maximizes the amount of Residential area, residential, business and leisure space within Pedestrian, walking distance of public t ...
s (TODs), and scenic corridors. Residential and commercial zones are further subdivided into subclasses defined by density, commercial zones also allow for residential uses, and industrial zones are subdivided by their intensity and the environmental impact of the uses allowed. Regulations on residential, commercial, and industrial zones may differ between municipalities, so one municipality may permit 4-storey buildings on medium-density residential zones, while another may only permit 2-storey buildings.


Singapore

The framework for governing land uses in Singapore is administered by the
Urban Redevelopment Authority The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) is the national urban planning authority of Singapore, and a Statutory boards of the Singapore Government, statutory board under the Ministry of National Development (Singapore), Ministry of National Dev ...
(URA) through the Master Plan. The Master Plan is a statutory document divided into two sections: the plans and the Written Statement. The plans show the land use zoning allowed across Singapore, while the Written Statement provides a written explanation of the zones available and their allowed uses.


United Kingdom

The United Kingdom does not use zoning as a technique for controlling land use. British land use control began its modern phase after the Town and Country Planning Act of 1947. Rather than dividing municipal maps into land use zones, English planning law places all development under the control of local and regional governments, effectively abolishing the ability to develop land by-right. However, existing development allows land use by-right as long as the use does not constitute a change in the type of land use. A property owner must apply to change land use type of any existing building, and such changes must be consistent with the local and regional land use plans. Development control or planning control is the element of the United Kingdom's system of town and country planning through which
local government Local government is a generic term for the lowest tiers of public administration within a particular sovereign state. This particular usage of the word government refers specifically to a level of administration that is both geographically-loca ...
regulates
land use Land use involves the management and modification of natural environment or wilderness into built environment such as Human settlement, settlements and semi-natural habitats such as Arable land, arable fields, pastures, and managed Woodland, woo ...
and new building. There are 421 Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) in the United Kingdom. Generally they are the local
borough A borough is an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unit,Article 3(1). country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, constituent state, as well as many similar terms, are generic names for geo ...
or district council or a
unitary authority A unitary authority is a local government, local authority responsible for all local government functions within its area or performing additional functions that elsewhere are usually performed by a higher level of sub-national government or the ...
. They each use a discretionary "plan-led system" whereby
development plan A development plan sets out a local authority's policies and proposals for land use Land use involves the management and modification of natural environment or wilderness into built environment such as Human settlement, settlements and semi-na ...
s are formed and the public consulted. Subsequent development requires
planning permission Planning permission or developmental approval refers to the approval needed for construction or expansion (including significant renovation), and sometimes for demolition, in some jurisdictions. It is usually given in the form of a building perm ...
, which will be granted or refused with reference to the development plan as a material consideration. The plan does not provide specific guidance on what type of buildings will be allowed in a given location, rather it provides general principles for development and goals for the management of urban change. Because planning committees (made up of directly elected local councillors) or in some cases planning officers themselves (via delegated decisions) have discretion on each application for development or change of use made, the system is considered a 'discretionary' one. Planning applications can differ greatly in scale, from
airport An airport is an aerodrome with extended facilities, mostly for commercial air transport. Airports usually consists of a landing area, which comprises an aerially accessible open space including at least one operationally active surface ...
s and
new town New is an adjective referring to something recently made, discovered, or created. New or NEW may refer to: Music * New, singer of K-pop group The Boyz (South Korean band), The Boyz Albums and EPs * New (album), ''New'' (album), by Paul McCartn ...
s to minor modifications to individual houses. In order to prevent local authorities from being overwhelmed by high volumes of small-scale applications from individual householders, a separate system of permitted development has been introduced. Permitted development rules are largely form-based, but in the absence of zoning, are applied at the national level. Examples include allowing a two-storey extension up to three metres at the rear of a property, extensions up to 50% of the original width at each side, and certain types of outbuildings in the garden, provided that no more than 50% of the land area is built over. These are appropriately sized for a typical three bedroom
semi-detached A semi-detached house (often abbreviated to semi) is a single family Duplex (building), duplex dwelling house that shares one common party wall, wall with the next house. The name distinguishes this style of house from detached houses, with no sh ...
property, but must be applied across a wide variety of housing types, from small terraces, to larger detached properties and
manor house A manor house was historically the Official residence, main residence of the lord of the manor. The house formed the administrative centre of a Manorialism, manor in the European feudal system; within its great hall were held the lord's manor ...
s. In August 2020, the UK Government published a consultation document called Planning for the Future. The proposals hint at a move toward zoning, with areas given a Growth, Renewal or Protected designation, with the possibility of "sub-areas within each category", although the document doesn't elaborate on what the details of these might be.


United States

Under the police power rights, state governments may exercise over private
real property In English common law, real property, real estate, immovable property or, solely in the US and Canada, realty, is land which is the property of some person and all structures (also called Land improvement, improvements or Fixture (property ...
. With this power, special laws and regulations have long been made restricting the places where particular types of business can be carried on. In 1904,
Los Angeles Los Angeles ( ; es, Los Ángeles, link=no , ), often referred to by its initials L.A., is the largest city in the state of California California is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States, located along the West Coast of ...
established the nation's first land-use restrictions for a portion of the city.
New York City New York, often called New York City or NYC, is the List of United States cities by population, most populous city in the United States. With a 2020 population of 8,804,190 distributed over , New York City is also the L ...
adopted the first zoning regulations to apply city-wide in 1916. The constitutionality of zoning ordinances was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1926 case Village of Euclid, Ohio v. Ambler Realty Co. Among large populated cities in the United States,
Houston Houston (; ) is the List of cities in Texas by population, most populous city in Texas, the Southern United States#Major cities, most populous city in the Southern United States, the List of United States cities by population, fourth-most pop ...
is unique in having no zoning ordinances. Rather, land use is regulated by other means.


Scale

Early zoning practices were subtle and often debated. Some claim the practices started in the 1920sRothwell, Jonathan T. and Massey, Douglas S. (2010) "Density Zoning and Class Segregation in U.S. Metropolitan Areas" Social Science Quarterly. Volume 91, Issue 5, pp.1123-1141 while others suggest the birth of zoning occurred in New York in 1916. Both of these examples for the start of zoning, however, were urban cases. Zoning becomes an increasing legal force as it continues to expand in its geographical range through its introduction in other urban centres and use in larger political and geographical boundaries. Regional zoning was the next step in increased geographical size of areas under zoning laws.Whitnall, Gordon (1931) "History of Zoning" Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. Volume 155, Part 2, pp.1-14 A major difference between urban zoning and regional zoning was that "regional areas consequently seldom bear direct relationship to arbitrary political boundaries". This form of zoning also included rural areas which was counter-intuitive to the theory that zoning was a result of population density. Finally, zoning also expanded again but back to a political boundary again with state zoning.


Types in use in the United States

Zoning codes have evolved over the years as urban planning theory has changed, legal constraints have fluctuated, and political priorities have shifted. The various approaches to zoning can be divided into four broad categories: Euclidean, Performance, Incentive, and form-based. Named for the type of zoning code adopted in the town of
Euclid, Ohio Euclid is a city in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, United States. It is an Inner suburb, inner ring suburb of Cleveland. As of the United States Census 2020, 2020 census, the city had a total population of 49,692. History The City of Euclid was origina ...
, and approved in a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court, Village of Euclid v. Ambler Realty Co. Euclidean zoning codes are the most prevalent in the United States. Euclidean zoning is characterized by the segregation of land uses into specified geographic districts and dimensional standards stipulating limitations on development activity within each type of district. Advantages include relative effectiveness, ease of implementation, long-established legal precedent, and familiarity. However, Euclidean zoning has received criticism for its lack of flexibility and institutionalization of now-outdated planning theory. Also known as "effects-based planning", performance zoning uses performance-based or goal-oriented criteria to establish review parameters for proposed development projects. Performance zoning is intended to provide flexibility, rationality, transparency and accountability, avoiding the arbitrariness of the Euclidean approach and better accommodating market principles and private property rights with environmental protection. Difficulties included a requirement for a high level of discretionary activity on the part of the supervising authority. Performance zoning has not been widely adopted in the USA. First implemented in Chicago and New York City, incentive zoning is intended to provide a reward-based system to encourage development that meets established urban development goals. Typically, the method establishes a base level of limitations and a reward scale to entice developers to incorporate the desired development criteria. Incentive zoning allows a high degree of flexibility, but can be complex to administer.
Form-based code A Form-Based Code (FBC) is a means of regulating land development to achieve a specific urban form. Form-Based Codes foster predictable built results and a high-quality public realm by using physical form (rather than separation of uses) as the or ...
s offer considerably more governmental latitude in building uses and form than do Euclidean codes. Form-based zoning regulates not the type of land use, but the form that land use may take. For instance, form-based zoning in a dense area may insist on low setbacks, high density, and pedestrian accessibility. FBCs are designed to directly respond to the physical structure of a community in order to create more walkable and adaptable environments.


Social problems in the United States

The United States suffers from greater levels of deurbanization and
urban decay Urban decay (also known as urban rot, urban death or urban blight) is the sociological process by which a previously functioning city, or part of a city, societal collapse, falls into disrepair and decrepitude. There is no single process that l ...
than other developed countries, and additional problems such as
urban prairie Urban prairie is a term to describe vacant urban land that has reverted to green space. Previous structures occupying the urban lots have been demolished, leaving patchy areas of green space that are usually untended and unmanaged, forming an i ...
s that do not occur elsewhere. Jonathan Rothwell has argued that zoning encourages
racial segregation Racial segregation is the systematic separation of people into race (human classification), racial or other Ethnicity, ethnic groups in daily life. Racial segregation can amount to the international crime of apartheid and a crimes against hum ...
.Rothwell, Jonathan T. and Massey, Douglas S. (2009) "The Effect of Density Zoning on Racial Segregation in U.S. Urban Areas" Urban Affairs Review. Volume 4, Number 6, pp. 779-806 He claims a strong relationship exists between an area's allowance of building housing at higher density and racial integration between blacks and whites in the United States. The relationship between segregation and density is explained by Rothwell and Massey as the restrictive density zoning producing higher housing prices in white areas and limiting opportunities for people with modest incomes to leave segregated areas. Between 1980 and 2000,
racial integration Racial integration, or simply integration, includes desegregation (the process of ending systematic racial segregation). In addition to desegregation, integration includes goals such as leveling barriers to association, creating equal opportunity ...
occurred faster in areas that did not have strict density regulations than those that did. Rothwell and Massey suggest homeowners and business interests are the two key players in density regulations that emerge from a political economy. They propose that in older states where rural jurisdictions are primarily composed of homeowners, it is the narrow interests of homeowners to block development because tax rates are lower in rural areas, and taxation is more likely to fall on the median homeowner. Business interests are unable to counteract the homeowners' interests in rural areas because business interests are weaker and business ownership is rarely controlled by people living outside the community. This translates into rural communities that have a tendency to resist development by using density regulations to make business opportunities less attractive. Density zoning regulations in the U.S increase
residential segregation Residential segregation in the United States is the physical separation of two or more groups into different neighborhoods—a form of segregation that "sorts population groups into various neighborhood contexts and shapes the living environment a ...
in metropolitan areas by reducing the availability of affordable housing in some jurisdictions; other zoning regulations like school infrastructure regulations and growth controls are also variables associated with higher segregation. With more permissive zoning regulations there are lower levels of segregation; desegregation is higher in places with more liberal regulations on zoning, allowing the residents to integrate racially. Metropolitan areas that allowed higher density development moved rapidly toward racial integration than their counterparts with strict density limitations. The greater the allowable density, the lower the level of racial segregation.


Criticism

Environmental activists argue that putting everyday uses out of walking distance of each other leads to an increase in traffic, since people have to own cars in order to live a normal life where their basic human needs are met, and get in their cars and drive to meet their needs throughout the day. Single-use zoning and
urban sprawl Urban sprawl (also known as suburban sprawl or urban encroachment) is defined as "the spreading of urban developments (such as houses and shopping centers) on undeveloped land near a city." Urban sprawl has been described as the unrestricted growt ...
have also been criticized as making work–family balance more difficult to achieve, as greater distances need to be covered in order to integrate the different life domains. These issues are especially acute in the United States, with its high level of car usage combined with insufficient or poorly maintained
urban rail Urban rail transit is an all-encompassing term for various types of local Rail transport, rail systems providing Public transport, passenger service within and around urban area, urban or suburban areas. The set of urban rail systems can be roug ...
and metro systems. Euclidean zoning has been described as a functionalist way of thinking that uses mechanistic principles to conceive of the city as a fixed machine. This conception is in opposition to the view of the city as a continually evolving organism or living system, as first espoused by the German urbanist Hans Reichow. Another avenue of criticism of zoning laws comes from libertarians and minarchists who see the restrictions as a violation of individuals' property rights. With zoning, a property owner may not be able to use her land for her desired purpose. Some economists claim that single-use zoning laws work against economic efficiency and hinder development in a free economy, as poor zoning restrictions hinder the more efficient usage of a given area. Even without zoning restrictions, a landfill, for example, would likely gravitate to cheaper land and not a residential area. Single-use zoning laws can get in the way of creative developments like mixed-use buildings and can even stop harmless activities like yard sales. Other critics of zoning argue that zoning laws are a disincentive to provide housing which results in an increase in housing costs and a decrease in productive economic output. For example, A 2017 study showed that if all states deregulated their zoning laws only halfway to the level of Texas, a state known for low zoning regulations, their GDP would increase by 12 percent due to more productive workers and opportunity. Furthermore, critics note that it impedes the ability of those that wish to provide charitable housing from doing so. For example, in 2022, Gloversville's Free Methodist Church in New York wished to provide 40 beds for the homeless population in -4 degree weather and were inhibited from doing so. Some have argued that zoning laws increase
economic inequality There are wide varieties of economic inequality, most notably income inequality measured using the distribution of income (the amount of money people are paid) and wealth inequality measured using the distribution of wealth (the amount of we ...
.


See also

* Activity centre * Agricultural protection zoning * Context theory *
Ekistics Ekistics is the science of human settlementsKonstantinos Apostolos Doxiadis, Doxiadis, Konstantinos ''Ekistics'' 1968 including regional, city, Residential community, community planning and dwelling design. Its major incentive was the emergence o ...
* Exclusionary zoning * Fenceline community * Form-based codes * Greenspace (disambiguation) **
Open space reserve An open space reserve (also called open space preserve, open space reservation, and green space) is an area of protected or conservation ethics, conserved land or water on which Real estate development, development is indefinitely set aside. The ...
**
Urban open space In land-use planning, urban green space is open-space areas reserved for parks and other "green spaces", including plant life, water features -also referred to as blue spaces- and other kinds of natural environment. Most urban open spaces a ...
* Inclusionary zoning * Locally unwanted land use *
Mixed use development Mixed-use is a kind of urban development Urban means "related to a city". In that sense, the term may refer to: * Urban area, geographical area distinct from rural areas * Urban culture, the culture of towns and cities Urban may also refer ...
*
New urbanism New Urbanism is an urban design Urban design is an approach to the design of buildings and the spaces between them that focuses on specific design processes and outcomes. In addition to designing and shaping the physical features of towns, c ...
*
NIMBY NIMBY (or nimby), an acronym An acronym is a word or name formed from the initial components of a longer name or phrase. Acronyms are usually formed from the initial letters of words, as in ''NATO'' (''North Atlantic Treaty Organization''), ...
* Non-conforming use *
Planning permission Planning permission or developmental approval refers to the approval needed for construction or expansion (including significant renovation), and sometimes for demolition, in some jurisdictions. It is usually given in the form of a building perm ...
* Police power * Principles of Intelligent Urbanism * Reverse sensitivity *
Road A road is a linear way for the conveyance of traffic that mostly has an road surface, improved surface for use by vehicles (motorized and non-motorized) and pedestrians. Unlike streets, the main function of roads is transportation. There are ro ...
* Single-use zoning * Spot zoning * Statutory planning *
Subdivision (land) Subdivisions are the act of dividing land into pieces that are easier to sell or otherwise develop, usually via a plat. The former single piece as a whole is then known as a subdivision. Subdivisions may be simple, involving only a single sel ...
*
Traffic Traffic comprises pedestrians, vehicles, ridden or herded animals, trains, and other Public conveyance, conveyances that use public ways (roads) for travel and transportation. Traffic laws govern and regulate traffic, while rules of the roa ...
*
Variance (land use) A variance is a deviation from the set of rules a municipality applies to land use and land development, typically a zoning ordinance, building code or municipal ordinances, municipal code. The manner in which variances are employed can differ grea ...
*
YIMBY YIMBY is an acronym An acronym is a word or name formed from the initial components of a longer name or phrase. Acronyms are usually formed from the initial letters of words, as in ''NATO'' (''North Atlantic Treaty Organization''), but someti ...
* Zoning district *
Zoning in the United States Zoning in the United States includes various land use laws falling under the Police power (United States constitutional law), police power rights of state governments and local governments to exercise authority over privately owned real property. ...


References


Further reading

*Taylor, George ''Town Planning for Australia (Studies in International Planning History)'', Routledge, 2018, . *Gurran, N., Gallent, N. and Chiu, R.L.H. ''Politics, Planning and Housing Supply in Australia, England and Hong Kong (Routledge Research in Planning and Urban Design)'', Routledge, 2016. *Bassett, E.M. ''The master plan, with a discussion of the theory of community land planning legislation.'' New York: Russell Sage foundation, 1938. *Bassett, E. M. ''Zoning.'' New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1940 * Hirt, Sonia. ''Zoned in the USA: The Origins and Implications of American Land-Use Regulation'' (Cornell University Press, 2014) 245 pp
online review
* Stephani, Carl J. and Marilyn C. ''ZONING 101, originally published in 1993 by the National League of Cities, now available in a Third Edition, 2012.''


External links


ZoningPoint
– A searchable database of zoning maps and zoning codes for every county and municipality in the United States.
Crenex – Zoning Maps
– Links to zoning maps and planning commissions of 50 most populous cities in the US.
New York City Department of City Planning – Zoning History


* ttps://web.archive.org/web/20140617223349/http://www.faulkandfoster.com/services/real-estate-zoning-compliance/ Zoning Compliance and Zoning Certification - Analysis and Reporting
Land Policy Institute at Michigan State University
* By Bradley C. Karkkainen (1994)

Journal of Land Use & Environmental Law {{Authority control Urban planning