Desire Paths and Intention Lines

Virtual Camino

They are all over the city.  Everywhere there is a footpath across an open space, everywhere there are steps next to a slope, everywhere there is a gap in a fence or a wall or a hedge, there is a desire path.  These unofficial shortcuts, unsigned, unplanned, untarmacked are both a bane and blessing to city planners.  They betray the secrets of pedestrians, revealing with dead grass and trampled plants, how we react to our environment, where we want to go not where we are told to go.

These intention lines are most often equated with the path of least resistance.  They cut corners, cross junctions not at the lights but next to the bus stop.  By their very nature they differ from the planned route, they rebel against the rules.

But these are strange times and what we desire is no longer the quickest way from A to B. …

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