The Living Space Team

We are a team of associates, from social, private and public sector, with expertise in green spaces, and the environment.

The team

Living Space Project has a team of associates, from social, private and public sector, with cross cutting expertise and experience in green spaces, environment, planning, well being, funding, local economies, regeneration and community development, design and architecture.

Living Space Project’s Director and Founder, Maria Adebowale-Schwarte heads the team.

Maria Adebowale-Schwarte

Maria's the Founding Director of Living Space Project (formerly Capacity Global),  specialises in urban place making green spaces, inclusive collaborative participation, research and policy development.

She's currentlyan advisor, patron or trustee of a number of environment, heritage and place shaping boards and organisations. And, she's a former Commissioner on the UK Sustainable Development Commission as well as the English Heritage Commission.

Maria's the first recipient of the Environment Fellowship, from the Clore Social Leadership Programme, and, she has a Masters in Public International and Environment Law as well as a Post Graduate Certificate in Architecture, Sustainability and Design.

She appeared in the Top 100 environment list, was presented with a Mayor of London, London Leaders Award and is a member of the global Place Making Leadership Council. Maria's often invited to speak at national and international events, and commissioned to provide advice to projects, organisations, funders, companies and agencies.

Maria’s fascinated by urban architecture, heritage and parks and in her spare time she volunteers on local place making and green space projects. You can also find her collecting old penguin paper backs or refurbishes abandoned furniture.

Emma Herbert

Emma has a wealth of experience in executive assistance and project management. Before joining Living Space Project, she worked in the TV, digital, IT and publishing sector. Emma is a Fellow of the Institute of Professional Administrators and the Institute of Administrative Management.  

She’s central to keeping projects running smoothly and provides PA support to Maria Adebowale-Schwarte, Founding Director of Living Space Project. Emma is also responsible for managing events, workshops and training courses.

When Emma’s not in the office, Emma is always on the lookout for potential community environment and places projects.


Andrew Ross

Andrew works on improving better links between spatial planning, healthy neighbourhoods and local environmental sustainability. This includes writing people’s experiences of putting policy into practice, evaluating projects, and creating guides and handbooks to highlight how more collaborative working can improve local environments. He also worked on a number of community place making projects providing advice or project assessments.

Previously, Andrew was a Policy Officer for the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA). He trained as an urban planner and has a Masters in Environment Education.

You might have spotted Andrew in a bright orange tabard on the streets of north London, helping adults from a diverse range of backgrounds experience the joys of cycling.

Chris Church

Chris advices, trains and project manages local sustainable development and climate change projects, with a strong focus on community engagement.

His work has a strong focus on social and environmental justice. He co-wrote Hard to reach? with Maria Adebowale-Schwarte – a review of UK activity on environmental action within Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups older groups, younger groups and disabled communities.

Outside of work he loves hill walking and is the author of A traveller’s guide to Ullapool and the North-West of Scotland.

derek hooper

Derek has worked for more than twenty years on equality, inclusion and place making. 

He is an experienced manager and this gives his work a practical edge and understanding of how organisations work. He was the Inclusive Design Advisor at the Commissions for Architecture and the Built Environment, and has worked with the Town and Country Planning Association on the Life, Love and Liberty performance programme about the history of land rights and planning in England. In addition Derek has facilitated international meetings for the World Health Organisation.

He brings a wide portfolio of good quality practice, a practical tool-kit for managers and front-line staff, experience and creativity in supporting managers to projects.  His analysis covers all strands of equality and inequality - poverty and well-being, safety in public spaces and environmental issues. 

Apart from his work Derek enjoys cinema, reading, walking and cream teas. 

Jasbah Singh

Jasbah specialises in designing, delivering and evaluating community engagement projects at local, national and international level.

He initiates and manages successful community engagement projects on climate change, environmental, science-related and social issues. Jasbah is also an editor of the leading journal Participation Learning and Action.

Jasbah pretty much cycles everywhere and takes every opportunity to visit London's green spaces and Britain’s national parks.

Helen Lynn

Helen works with occupational and environmental health specialists in relation to environment and places.  She works on numerous projects linking health to environment – buildings and spaces.

She previously worked at the Women’s Environmental Network, where she was health co-ordinator for 12 years before becoming a freelance consultant. She has worked internationally and at EU level with the non-governmental organisation Women in Europe for a Common Future and is on its International Advisory Board.

Away from work, Helen enjoys walking her dog, watching films, reading and cooking.

Tayo Adebowale

Tayo is a Chartered Environmentalist, and Chartered Water and Environmental Manager. She has a Doctorate in waste water treatment.  

Her portfolio includes environment projects relating to strategy, policy sustainable business management, energy and resource efficiency, land management, regeneration and environmental impact assessment, and environmental auditing. She previously worked for Environmental Resources Management (ERM), and Jacobs Engineering and has been on a number Boards within the public sector. Tayo, is also a built environment expert.

In her spare time you will find her on a house retrofit and design, or on her much loved allotment.