App launched to track how urban environments affect health and wellbeing

The Shmapped app has been launched as part of the Improving Wellbeing Through Urban Nature project (IWUN) led by the University of Sheffield. The app enables city residents to map good things they encounter in their city. The aim of the project is to help urban planners, designers and public health organisations create better urban spaces for people and wildlife.

Launched initially for people living in Sheffield, the app, developed in collaboration with researchers from the University of Derby with Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust and Furthermore Ltd, prompts people to notice good things about their surroundings. It also records users’ locations and activity, which could reveal new insights into the types of spaces people encounter in cities and how different spaces affect their wellbeing.

Dr Anna Jorgensen, who is leading the project from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Landscape Architecture, said: “There have been numerous studies that have looked at how urban public spaces affect people’s health and wellbeing, but what is different about our project is that we have produced a smartphone app which allows people to track how they instantly respond to their surroundings, and enables us to identify precisely which places in their city, and which characteristics of those places, are making a positive difference to people’s health, wellbeing and overall quality of life. These findings are important because they could be used to improve the types of spaces that are created in cities.”

The smartphone app – Shmapped- collects baseline wellbeing data through brief questionnaires and prompts users to map good things in their city and rate each location. The research team is now looking for city residents to download the app and take part in the study to map what type of natural and built spaces benefit their wellbeing the most. The app is free to download and participants need to use it for at least one month to be included in the study.

Download the iPhone on App Store Shmapped – Go Jauntly Ltd or  Android at Google Play Store

Android app on Google Play

Shmapped Stakeholder Event – Thu 20 July 2017  12:00 – 14:00 BST

For more information on the study please visit: