Local governments in the United States have a long history of attempting to shape their land use and development patterns as a means toward broader community goals. Local regulation of land use became much more active and systematic in the twentieth century, with the development of zoning as a policy tool and the emergence of urban planning as a profession applying expertise to local government. Land use and growth policy have also become a central preoccupation of theories of local politics. Although there currently exists considerable ferment and dissatisfaction regarding the suitability of the dominant zoning approach to manage urban growth, major reforms to local land-use regulation are likely to be implemented only quite slowly.