Re: Re: Pedestrain Shortcuts

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@phil wrote:

I think that in the way you are both describing a shortcut it comes down to an individuals knowledge of specific places within a city.

Agreed. I was thinking about this last night after I wrote the above. Taking a shortcut is almost a badge of belonging in some ways, separating those with a passing familiarity from those with an intimate knowledge. Not a badge used to exclude others, mind you. 🙂 Georges Perec has some good words on getting to know a new city that might be pertinent here. I’ll try to remember to dig them out when I get home.

Another quality that I think might define a shortcut is an element of transgression, i.e. taking a route that isn’t the ‘prescribed’ route, for whatever reason, whether it’s a route through a graveyard, the shortcut through Trinity (it’s surprising how many people think they’ll get turned back if they try to enter the campus), a back lane, or even something like going through Habitat to get from Dame Street to Suffolk Street.

I note from rereading the original post that there was an element of the man-made in the question, i.e. shortcuts that had been fashioned by human intervention. I’ll have to get my thinking cap on again, but I suspect it’s more likely they’d be found in new developments than in older parts of the city, in places where the desire lines are just being established rather than set in stone.

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