Utne Blogs > Arts and Culture

Using Your Phone to Connect with Urban Nature

indeterminate hikes 

When we look at the physical makeup of urban areas, it's obvious that we've transformed a natural wilderness into a modern forest of steel and concrete. The truth is we're still surrounded by nature in the middle of the city, but our lives are simply too fast and our attention too fractured to notice it. A pair of professors at the University of Rochester aim to change our perception of urban nature and help us better understand the evolution of our cities with a new smart phone app called Indeterminate Hikes+ (IH+).

Assistant professor of art Cary Peppermint and Leila Nadir, a writer and lecturer on sustainability, are the co-founders of EcoArtTech, a collaboration that explores technology and environmentally focused work with other artists and organizations.The IH+ app is their latest project and utilizes Google Maps to create task-oriented paths designed to slow us down and simply make us more aware of our surroundings. As a news release explains: 

Image by J. Adam Fenster / University of Rochester