Desire path = Path developed by erosion caused by human footsteps
The path usually represents the shortest or most easily navigated route between an origin and destination.
When cities lack the paths pedestrians need, people vote with their feet
Claire was photographing desire paths… the imprints of ‘foot anarchists’, individuals who had trodden their own routes into the landscape, regardless of the intentions of government, planners and engineers. A desire path could be a short cut through waste ground, across the corner of a civic garden or down an embankment. They were expressions of free will, ‘paths with a passion’, an alternative to the strictures of railings, fences and walls that turned individuals into powerless apathetic automatons. On desire paths you could break out, explore,’feel your way across the landscape’.
– Nick Crane ‘Two degrees west’ (1999)
The key to the desire path is not just that it’s a path which one person or a group has made but that it’s done against the will of some authority which would have us go another, rather less convenient, way. – George R, flickr.com/groups/desire_paths
Apparently, one newly-constructed college campus somewhere just took pictures of where everyone walked in snow, then in the spring just put the paths in those places.
For dogs, the entire world is a desire path.
— Ron Mader (@ronmader) October 23, 2018
— Usabilla (@usabilla) September 1, 2014
Word(s) of the day: "desire lines" – paths & tracks made over time by the wishes & feet of walkers, especially those paths that run contrary to design or planning. Free-will ways.
Aka "cow-paths" & "Olifantenpad" (elephant trails).
(Images via https://t.co/KTdfn4xqNs) pic.twitter.com/cSuPZvKvFq
— Robert Macfarlane (@RobGMacfarlane) March 25, 2018
Desire Paths is one of our favorite collaborative groups on Flickr. Pics document desire paths around the world.