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i write i teach i build i deconstruct

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Magda Maaoui is a Doctor in Urban Planning at Columbia University GSAPP. She is an Urban Planner + Research Associate at the Atelier Parisien d'Urbanisme (APUR). She also acts as an external expert consultant for the OECD, and holds an Adjuncting Professorship position at the University of Cergy-Paris. Prior to being in New York, she was originally based in Paris as a civil servant trained in research. Her expertise is in housing policy, real estate development, community planning and environmental justice.

Her dissertation, successfully defended in June 2021, looks at how politics and power relations have shaped inclusionary zoning outcomes in French and American historically disinvested neighborhoods. This comparative political economy is based on sociological and econometric research which she carried during four years of fieldwork shadowing public sector agents in charge of housing provision between New York and Paris. She spent these years investigating the construction of two mixed-income eco-district housing projects, the Fort d’Aubervilliers in the Seine-Saint-Denis department, and Sendero Verde in East Harlem.

She evaluates strategies for the preservation and creation of affordable housing including, adaptive reuse, infill densification, inclusionary zoning, fair-share mandates and rent stabilization. She therefore intends to produce policy-relevant, actionable findings for legislators, planners, and advocacy organizations eager to rethink land use systems.

Normalienne agrégée with an academic and professional experience acquired in Europe (France, Denmark), Africa (Algeria, Senegal) and the Americas (United States, Costa Rica), projects she has worked on range from sustainable policy to housing and education, community planning and neighborhood revitalization. Magda is also a Fulbright Fellow since 2016. She received a Bachelor in Planning and Geography from the Université Lyon II Lumière, and a Masters in Planning and Geography from the École Normale Supérieure de Lyon, with high honors. She held a Visiting position at UC Berkeley during her Masters training. Her planning thesis (Magna Cum Laude), titled “East Palo Alto: the Gentrification of a Suburban Ghetto? Urban Representations and Gentrification Pressure in the Silicon Valley” investigated longitudinal gentrification-induced displacement threats impacting historically disinvested neighborhoods neighboring Silicon Valley tech campuses. 

Her research has been featured in popular news sources including Le Monde, Ouest FranceBondy BlogLa Gazette des Communes, the France Inter and France Culture public radios. It has also been used in campaigns for good governance and affordable housing provision reform in France and in the United States. Most importantly, her competencies provide her with a fascination for urban politics and community development - a fascination which also drives her advocacy work and nonprofit engagements.

She maintains an active stream of collaborative research. She is a member of the ACSP, the UACES and Urban Affairs Association networks and a reviewer for the Revue Urbanités. She has written or co-written peer-reviewed articles for the Berkeley Planning Journal, Housing Studies, Urban Studies and the Journal of Planning Education and Research. She has also contributed to Routledge’s Zoning: a Guide for 21st-Century Planning (2020). She cofounded the nonprofit organization Ateliers d’Alger, a collective focusing on urban planning solutions for neighborhoods in Algeria and in France, based on local participatory workshops, civic engagement and the curation of expertise from local and transnational professionals, which has received several awards and grants from the Mairie de Paris, the Davis Foundation and the Ford Foundation.

                     - Additional information on her work available upon request -

                    - Sample resume featured in the Women Seeking Faculty Positions CV Book (2021) -

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