Subdivision is the act of dividing all or part of a parcel of raw land into individual sections (lots) by a land developer and converting the land into developed property, which makes it easier to sell or lease the individual lots or otherwise develop the land. Subdivision is the principal mechanism by which communities are developed, it determining a community’s growth, appearance, mix of land uses, and its infrastructure.
A plan of subdivision (plat) shows the division of the land approved by the planning authority, with each lot having separate title. A subdivision that is undertaken for residential housing is a housing subdivision, while a subdivision undertaken for the development of a commercial or industrial property, such as a retail shopping center and industrial park, is a commercial subdivision.
Subdivisions are determined by zoning and real estate entitlements. Zoning is a tool of urban planning used by local governments in most developed countries and is determined by real estate entitlements and how the land is used.