Desire paths can tell us how to design safer, better public spaces.
"A desire line, or desire path, is an unplanned trail that forms as a result of traffic, either by humans or other animals, and often veers away from conventional paths.
"Mike Harris, an urban design researcher at the University of New South Wales, said … in many cases, desire lines showed those who planned or designed a space ‘fundamentally got it wrong’.
"‘It’s just simply that they weren’t cognisant of how people actually want to use that space,’ he said.
“Dr Harris said with people increasingly living in built-up environments, those designing urban spaces were examining desire lines, or desire paths, more frequently.”