This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book explains to the general, non-professional, reader what the content of town and country planning really is. It gives an idea of the kind of issues that planners have to grapple with and the basis on which they make their decisions. A large part of the problem lies in pinning down what planning is actually about. Another problem in talking about what the word “planning” means is that there is a big difference between the grand idea and what actually happens in the planning office of a local council, or a firm of consultants, on a day-to-day basis. Planning systems exist in most countries across the world, or at least in their major urban areas. So, fundamentally, planning is about intervention in the process of development in order to achieve a better outcome for everybody.