Why Does Demand-Based Transport Planning Persist? Insights from Social Practice Theory

Document Type


Publication Date



The need to shift to an equity-oriented transport planning has long been acknowledged, but its use in actual practice by planners and practitioners is limited. Using a dataset from the practice of transport planning in Western Visayas, Philippines, we provide more comprehensive evidence from the perspective of social practice theory for the pervasiveness of the demand-based epistemic framework on public transport planning – both in the planning process and in the elements of practice. Our results reveal a high degree of institutionalization and couplings among the elements which embed them as the underlying rationality at the core of the process and practice, sidelining the elements of equity-based planning. Such couplings manifest in the ways by which meanings are codified into formal practices through a translation into material structures, competences, and routines. We recommend pathways for dis-embedding the demand-based framework and embedding an equity-based epistemic in transport planning.