Dr Maria Jesus Alfaro-Simmonds

Pronouns: She/her

PhD in Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences MA in Construction and Real Estate Management B.Arch

  • ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow

Maria Jesus Alfaro-Simmonds is a ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow. She was awarded her PhD in Geography at the University of Birmingham. Previously she completed a BA in Architecture and a MA in Construction and Real Estate Management. Her PhD explored children´s and adolescent´s understandings and experiences of happiness in urban contexts. The fellowship consolidates the work conducted during her PhD. She is conducting further research investigating how children´s and adolescent´s geographies of happiness translate into childhood friendly social and urban policies in Latin America.

Find more about this project in www.cities4happiness.com

Maria Jesus´ research interests lie at the interplay between three broad areas of scholarship on cities, happiness and young people. Her research explores children´s and young people´s everyday experiences, needs and uses of urban spaces through the lens of happiness and wellbeing. This includes exploring the relationship between urban happiness and issues around sociability, accessibility, belonging, safety, and quality of the built environment.

More broadly she is interested in examining in more depth how children´s, adolescents´ and young people´s everyday experiences affect and are affected by their urban surroundings. She seeks to explore further the relationship between urban fragmentation, social processes, and human experiences of public spaces at different scales.

Her work is interdisciplinary, applicable in different geographies and constantly aims to build transferable and actionable knowledge to encourage processes of co-creation and inform urban planning and social policy.

  • Alfaro-Simmonds, M. J. (2021). Children experiencing happiness in the city In B. A. Searle, J. Pykett, & M. J. Alfaro-Simmonds (Eds.), A Modern Guide to Wellbeing Research (pp. 164-183). UK: Edward Elgar. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4337/9781789900163.00020
  • Searle, B. A., Pykett, J., & Alfaro-Simmonds, M. J. (2021). Introduction to Wellbeing Research In B. A. Searle, J. Pykett, & M. J. Alfaro-Simmonds (Eds.), A Modern Guide to Wellbeing Research (pp. 1-22). England: Edward Elgar. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4337/9781789900163.00008
  • Alfaro-Simmonds, M. J. (2021). Felicidad urbana de niños y adolescentes en la ciudad de Lima: espacio público como generador de experiencias cotidianas de felicidad en niños y adolescentes. In Ocupa tu Calle (Ed.), FIIU 5: Resiliencia Urbana. Tomo I: Articulos y Foto ensayos. (pp. 113-121). Lima: Sistema Urbano. https://bit.ly/3FFzTaI