An administrative system for limiting the uses to which a parcel of land can be put. The constitutional justification for which is based upon the premise that zoning is a legitimate exercise of police power because it serves to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public. This justification was established in the court case "Euclid vs. Ambler Realty" in the town of Euclid, New York.

As its most basic level, zoning involves seperating segregating incompatible uses into different zones. At a more extreme level, it involves separating all uses from one another and concentrating them all into one area, forcing everyone to drive everywhere all the time.

Typical zoning systems use residential, commercial, and industrial as the basic categories, although many systems have additional categories and sub-categories. These sub-categories are usually based upon density.