Olivier Maene

Olivier Maene

Having joined GSS as a teaching assistant in the spring of 2017, Olivier considers himself an historian, urbanist and civic advocate. Throughout his undergraduate studies at the Savannah College of Art and Design, Olivier focused on developing a comprehensive understanding of the built environment and its layered history. After four years in the US, he returned to his native Belgium to start an interdisciplinary master program in urban studies called “4Cities”; over the course of two years, Olivier attended classes at universities in Brussels, Vienna, Budapest, Copenhagen and Madrid, familiarizing himself with the economic, political, social and cultural dimensions of urban life. Influenced by postcolonial literature and scholars such as Doreen Massey, Jennifer Robinson, Ramón Grosfoguel and Ananya Roy, he quickly developed a focus on Latin American and Caribbean urbanism. Interested in the dismantling of the welfare state in the age of neoliberalism, Olivier researches the transformation of Puerto Rican cities under the current austerity crisis, while exploring new ways of organizing urban resources to ensure a more equitable and emancipatory future. In addition to his academic endeavors, Olivier has completed internships in historic preservation and economic development with the City of Roanoke, VA; urban planning with the UNESCO division of the City of Bruges, Belgium; and most recently in international relations and diplomacy with the Embassy of Belgium in Santiago de Chile.