> What are elephat paths?
Elephant path is a name for a path that is formed in space by people making their own paths and shortcuts; it is an unofficial route. Elephant path is an anarchist way of moving in a city, a town or a village. It is an overlaying system of going from a place to a place in a space regardless of the city/town plan. Still, it is connected to the streets and the architectural forms.
The paths mapped in Elephant Paths -project are not paved and (hopefully) not mapped in any other maps. The name, elephant paths, origins to Karosta, Latvia, where the paths were called by this name.
Definition of a path "officially"
* a course
of conduct; "the path of virtue"; "we went our separate
ways"; "our paths in life led us apart"; "genius usually
follows a revolutionary path"
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There is another term that maybe could be the exact translation of elephant path to English. This term is desire line. Desire line is "An informal path that pedestrians prefer to take from one location to other rather than using a sidewalk or other official route".
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Desire lines is also a term that city planners use when designing pedesterian routes. People naturally want to take a shortest way from one point to another. But if you don't want people using shortcuts, you can disturb they a eye a bit with i.e. plants. From what I've seen I can say that there a still no ways to stop people from creating paths. Even though there are usually not many in very tightly planned city centers, there are always some. And that is great!