Maria Adebowale-Schwarte

Founder of Living Space Project, writer and city and urban place strategist

Maria is a city and an urban place strategist, focusing on collaborative design, policy, and funding models that are inclusive, equitable, and underpin good growth. Her career started in environment and planning law, and she’s developed a portfolio of work that aims to underpin ethically driven, co-created and economically viable places, spaces and cities using a mix of frameworks, from social value to heritage and culture. Maria is also the Founder of Living Space Project – an urban place making consultancy and think tank. She’s also an associate, and on the board of a number of organisations with strong place and city agendas.  

She writes articles and blogs and has written for The Guardian, New Start, Prospect Magazine, the World Bank, British Academy, and Policy Press. She’s also the author of the “must read” book, The Place Making Factor, that blends narrative and fact, on place and grant making. In her spare time, she collects “knackered old Penguin paperback books”, enjoys taking walks around neighbourhoods and now and again settling down with a few marshmallows whilst listening to a podcast.

If you could change one thing about the world through your work, what would it be?

Everyone would have the right to a decent home and access to spaces where they can live, play and love without fear.

Favourite TED Talk:

Alejandro Aravena
My architectural philosophy? Bring the community into the process

Meet the TEDxLondonWomen speakers

Dr Jessica Wade

Scientist, wikipedian and campaigner for gender inclusion in science

Lady Unchained

Poet, Storyteller and advocate for life after prison

Sofie Hagen

Stand-up comedian, author, podcaster and fat activist

Ben Hurst

Campaigner against toxic masculinity

Josie Young

Feminist AI Researcher

Dr Clara Barker

Material scientist and vocal LGBTQI+ campaigner

Amelia Abraham

Journalist, writer and LGBTQ+ culture and politics commentator

Baroness Lola Young

Member of the House of Lords and campaigner against modern day slavery

Maria Adebowale-Schwarte

Founder of Living Space Project, writer and city and urban place strategist

Dr Alice Bunn

International Director at the UK Space Agency