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The Childhood, Law & Policy Network (CLPN)

Professor Melody Smith


Co-associate Head (Research), School of Nursing, the University of Auckland, New Zealand



My research and supervision activities focus on understanding how environments can support wellbeing across the lifespan through facilitating active travel modes, mobility, physical activity, connections with nature, and social connectivity. I am particularly interested in child health promotion, ecological and systems approaches to understanding the complexity of environment-health relationships, using mixed methods, integrating objective measures (e.g., accelerometry, inclinometry, GPS, GIS) and person-centred methods (participatory approaches, online mapping), and employing creative methods to activate community voice. I teach at an undergraduate and postgraduate level on child health and research methodology and methods.



For all research outputs please see:

Williams T, Ward K, Egli V, Mandic S, Pocock T, Clark TC, Smith M. (2022). More-Than-Human: A Cross-Sectional Study Exploring Children's Perceptions of Health and Health-Promoting Neighbourhoods in Aotearoa New Zealand. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, doi:10.3390/ijerph192416968

Smith, M., Donnellan, N., Zhao, J., Egli, V., Ma, C., & Clark, T. (2022). Children’s perceptions of their neighbourhoods during COVID-19 lockdown in Aotearoa New Zealand. Children’s Geographies, doi: 10.1080/14733285.2022.2026887 

Smith, M., Cui, J., Ikeda, E., Mavoa, S., Hasanzadeh, K., Zhao, J., . . . Kyttä, M. (2021). Objective measurement of children's physical activity geographies: A systematic search and scoping review.. Health & place, 67, 102489. doi:10.1016/j.healthplace.2020.102489

Smith, M., Calder-Dawe, O., Carroll, P., Kayes, N., Kearns, R., Lin, E-Y., Witten, K. (2021). Mobility barriers and enablers and their implications for the wellbeing of disabled children and young people in Aotearoa New Zealand: A cross-sectional qualitative study. Wellbeing, Space and Society, 2, 100028, doi: 

Carroll, P., Witten, K., Smith, M., Egli, V., Mavoa, S. and Kytta, M. (2021), "Conducting Research with Children, Ethically and Effectively, to Inform Public Policy", Spencer, G. (Ed.) Ethics and Integrity in Research with Children and Young People (Advances in Research Ethics and Integrity, Vol. 7), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 167-182.

Smith, M., Spencer, G., Fouché, C., & Hoare, K. (2021). Understanding child and youth migrant wellbeing: Reflections from a systematic literature review in the Western Pacific region. Wellbeing Space and Society, 2, 100053. doi:10.1016/j.wss.2021.100053

Sullivan, E., Egli, V., Donnellan, N., & Smith, M. (2020). Policies to enable children’s voice for healthy neighbourhoods and communities: a systematic mapping review and case study. KĊtuitui: New Zealand Journal of Social Sciences Online, online first, 28 pages. doi:10.1080/1177083X.2020.1772325

Smith, M., Ikeda, E., Hawley, G., Mavoa, S., Hosking, J., Egli, V., . . . Witten, K. (2020). An integrated conceptual model of environmental needs for New Zealand children’s active travel to school. Journal of Transport and Health, 16, 11 pages. doi:10.1016/j.jth.2019.100814


Child health, environmental health, physical activity, health promotion, participatory approaches, neighbourhood design
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