Magda Maaoui

Design Critic in Urban Planning and Design

Magda Maaoui is a Planner and Research Associate at the Atelier Parisien d’Urbanisme (APUR), Paris’s planning agency. She also acts as an external expert consultant for the OECD, and is an adjunct professor at the University of Paris Cité. Her expertise is in housing policy, real estate development, community planning and environmental justice.

She oversees projects that focus on curbing environmental and public health inequality through urban development.  She also evaluates strategies for the preservation and creation of affordable housing including, adaptive reuse, infill densification, inclusionary zoning, fair-share mandates and rent stabilization. She 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), Magda holds a PhD in Urban Planning from Columbia University. 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, and is a former Fulbright Fellow.

She published the collective book Habiter l’indépendance (2022), and has contributed to Routledge’s Zoning: a Guide for 21st-Century Planning (2020). Her research has been featured in popular news sources including Le MondeOuest 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.

She maintains an active stream of collaborative research. She is a member of the ACSP 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 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.