Desire Paths: The Shortcut Path

Flickr @nevolution

Desire paths are surprising common. They are found at libraries, school buildings and nearly everywhere with large grass patches that is often traversed. Desire paths show where people want to walk (hence the name desire path), why walk around when you can walk through and save time? Often this constant walking of the same path will create visible erosion, there is even a Flickr group dedicated to desire lines and has 452 photos of them and over 350 members.

Desire paths can help with the planning of paths. In Disneyland, areas of grass were left without fencing to see the most common path then paved over according to JustDisney. Using desire paths may be the best way to design paving, especially in schools when the ‘voters’ of the prominent desire path includes thousands of students.


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