Purpose and functions The conventional wisdom of transport planning practice in urban areas is closely identified with the application of the 'urban transport planning (UTP) process' and its derivatives.1 This process is a formalised planning methodology designed to provide guidelines and priorities for future investment and construction of urban transport infrastructure and facilities. In some countries such as Brazil, the UK and the USA, the methodology has in the past been institutionalised by government and supported by legislation, obliging planning agencies to adopt particular procedures of the process in order to qualify for central government funding.