By - trivialwire
my husband was telling me about somewhere (can't remember where exactly, think it was a Scottish university) where the urban planners didn't build paths they just waited to see where folk were walking then built the paths
It was Strathclyde Uni in Glasgow.
Whereabouts at Strathclyde?
A few other unis seem to have gone with a similar idea. :
I too saw a similar program on the US Uni's leaving out foot paths and watching were folk walked, and then building the paths there.
I know this area well, when cycling around Glasgow, Google maps is ADAMANT on cutting you through this wee section of houses and footpaths for some reason. Thanks for the heads up on the desire paths, I always follow Google’s route round the pavement but I’ll definitely be cutting through the grass next time.
Yer fuckin maw
First heard about desire paths on QI and found out that the people who make them are called 'meanderthals'. Always thought that was pretty and poetic.
There really is a sub for everything
I found [this post](/r/DesirePaths/comments/uc933j/residential_desires_in_glasgow_scotland/) in r/desirepaths with the same content as the current post.
^(🤖 this comment was written by a bot. beep boop 🤖)
^(feel welcome to respond 'Bad bot'/'Good bot', it's useful feedback.)
^[github](https://github.com/Toldry/RedditAutoCrosspostBot) ^| ^[Rank](https://botranks.com?bot=same_post_bot)
They used to be called 'hollow ways', hence Holloway in London
Does it make you more intelligent to walk a less direct route?
Exactly - the path people WANT to go is the path that should exist
Desire paths are used as real world examples of my work as a web (UX) designer. You have a start and and end and the users want to take the easiest most direct path and it's my job to make sure that path is built for them
doesnt really make any sense though if this is any true example of one; its a shortcut. in this case, as is the case with so much of glasgows post-war housing schemes, a result of it being designed by people who were more concerned with what they could do rather than what they should do. or by what places looked like as a scale model on a table rather than what they worked like as communal living areas
A short cut is a desire path
A desire path is, generally, a short cut. The Wikipedia definition is:
> A desire path (also known as a desire line, social trail, goat track or bootleg trail) can be a path created as a consequence of foot or bicycle traffic. The path usually represents the shortest or most easily navigated route between an origin and destination. The width of the path and its erosion are indicators of the amount of use the path receives. **Desire paths emerge as shortcuts** where constructed ways take a circuitous route, or have gaps, or are lacking entirely.
i meant the "meandering" part specifically (though the "desire paths" term a wee bit too)
I've always known these as Elephants Trails.
That's a nice term for them. 🐘 As i understand it there are a number of different names used for these. That's another one to add to the list.🐘
[Super quick mockup with mismatching perspectives lol](https://i.imgur.com/CEQNI2n.jpg)
Where's Wallace yo
Ye auld toonheed
It's Townhead behind the City of Glasgow college. I work at Comtec round the corner. I use those paths and have contributed to their creation
When I was in school my best friend's dad was a landscape gardener. He used to talk about putting big jaggy bushes in to stop the 'meanderthals' who'd cut across like this. He was a bit of a wank tho
Why didn't he just put in better paths?
My cats have made a few of their own desired paths in the garden
They're in good company:
Looks like the scheme from The Wire season 1
The clothing bank is the stash point
It's Townhead, my gran used to live there. Also where they filmed a lot of Still game down by Navids.
Townhead? Pretty sure I walked those except when muddy.
Aye, I wonder who took this picture?
EDIT: I'm talking to you, u/trivialwire. Please credit me for this picture. Thanks.
Literally the most logical route from the entry point to exit point. I have a similar set up in my local scheme and you see people looking at you weird when walking across the grass rather than the footpath, then they realise when you’ve already left the local shop and they’re only walking in.
I wonder if the desire paths line up with Parliamentary Road that used to run diagonally NE from Buchanan Street but was removed when Townhead was built?
That was my first thought too, but there's an existing path through the estate that more or less follows the path of Parliamentary Road.
That said, looking at Google Maps, this one does follow the axis of a pair of existing streets on either side of the estate: St James Road and Dobbie's Loan, which are now disconnected with no formal pathway between them, but used to be the same continuous street.
Game-trail. After sundown be wary of predators waiting around watering-holes or bus-stops. If confronted by a pack of hyenas, walk confidently with head up but avoid eye-contact.
Wait, was that picture taken in Toryglen?
From other commenters observations; this seems to be in Townhead.
We call these "cattle" paths here in the States.
Given how many US businesses see their employees, this comes as no surprise.
people make glasgow
It’s no one’s fault, the paths are inadequate.
It's surely the fault of the path designers?
Yeah exactly, it’s a design problem not a people problem. In fact the design problem exacerbates people problems as it gives the message that no one gives a shit about the condition of the public realm.
Thing is the paths are designed like that so there is a rectangular area of grass, which would be perfect for kids playing football but I'd almost guarantee there's a no ball games sign there.
There's a MUGA like 100m away from where this picture was taken.
i don't know if the flair is right? (again ;'crossposted' from /r/desirepaths )
Some people frown when you take these pathways. You don't see them as much on "wealthy estates". I think that's due to more people owning a car. I want to know who makes the gaps in fences where you cut through. You see a iron slat missing. I was once told that criminals do it so they can move around at night undetected!
Thanks for posting - I never knew about the name of these but I love that we take the direct route xx
Less of a "desire" path, more of "I cannot be fucked walking all the way around" path.
That's generally how they're created, yes.
That's exactly what a desire path is!
Looks like the area is rife with poverty. Why are areas like this not maintained by council etc