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Planning literally just means the creation of a plan. It has acquired a technical meaning, however, to cover the area of government legislation and regulations related to the use of resources.

Planning can refer to the planned use of any and all resources (as in the succession of Five-Year Plans through which the government of the Soviet Union sought to develop the country. However, the term is most frequently used in relation to planning for the use of land and related resources, for example in urban planning, transportation planning, and so forth.

Thus, in a governmental context, "planning" without any qualification is most likely to mean the regulation of land use.