Maria is a placemaking, and urban renewal strategist specializing in place-led prosperity, green spaces, cross-sector collaboration, and community participation. Maria has over twenty-five years of hands-on and strategic expertise in national and international organizations with a major urban place making, environment and sustainable development focus, at executive director and board level.
She’s the Founding Director of the London-based Living Space Project; an urban placemaking think tank and consultancy that works with charitable foundations, government, the social sector, communities, developers and urban place makers in the public and private sectors.
Maria has started a UK Place Making Collective, as a regional network of the International Placemaking Leadership Council, she is an affiliate member of the Royal Institute of British Architects, and the first recipient of the Clore Social Leadership Environment Fellowship. She has recently been invited to join the Town and Country Planning Association’s high-level taskforce Raynsford Review of the English planning system.
She holds a Masters in Law (planning, environment and human rights law) from the University of London, and a first degree in Organisation Studies and Business Law from the University of Lancaster.
In additions has written for The Guardian, Prospect Magazine, New Start Magazine, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, The Town and Country Planning Journal, the World Bank, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the British Academy and Policy Press.
Her current portfolio is providing strategic insight into creating cohesive communities, economic and social capital through placemaking, sustainable development, and the environment. Part of this work is advising grant makers, funders and philanthropists on environment and placemaking. And, her recent book 'The place making factor: disrupting social and environment grant making’ will be published in late February 2017. She is establishing the international Philanthropy, Grants, and Funding Placemaking programme with PPS.
If you are looking to create social, economic and environmental impact through placemaking and need strategic, planning advice or a masterclass in developing a philanthropic, grant or funding program contact Maria.