Definition – In the context of SUMP development, the functioning area refers to the geographical area that should be covered by the plan. The functioning area is determined based on travel-to-work patterns of people travelling to and from the city from the surrounding area.
Relevance to SUMP – An important aspect of the SUMP concept is that the geographical area of the plan should reflect the pattern of journeys routinely made by people as opposed to administrative boundaries. Defining the functioning area of a city is a priority task early in the process as it determines which neighbouring authorities, as a minimum, should be engaged in SUMP development and implementation. In an ideal scenario, the city authority and neighbouring public authorities would agree to prepare and adopt a joint SUMP. Where this is not possible, neighbouring authorities within the functioning area of the city should be engaged in the process through horizontal/territorial integration to facilitate agreement to key aspects of the plan, such as the vision, objectives, targets, measures and monitoring and evaluation plan.
A functioning area would be expected to include, but not necessarily be limited to, the urban agglomeration – see agglomeration (urban).