Taubman College announced March 24, 2010, that Associate Professor Richard K. Norton would be appointed chair of the Urban and Regional Planning Program, effective July 1, 2010. Norton will proceed Jonathan Levine as the program chair at the conclusion of Jonathan Levine's second term.
Norton currently serves as the faculty coordinator for the land use and environmental planning concentration in the Urban and Regional Planning Program. He is also a faculty associate with the University of Michigan's Program in the Environment. He earned his Ph.D. in city and regional planning and his J.D. with honors at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In addition, he holds master's degrees in public policy studies and environmental management from Duke University. His research and teaching are in sustainable development, environmental planning, and planning law. He is interested in local governance for land use and development management, particularly as it relates to the theory and practice of planning for sustainable development. Prior to completing his graduate studies, he worked in professional practice as a consulting environmental policy analyst and planner in Washington, D.C., and San Francisco, California.
Since coming to Michigan in 2001, Norton has worked as a public scholar, engaging with practitioners on the issues he is studying, contributing his research insights to their work and deriving ideas and evidence from what he sees in the interaction of planning and development and its effect on the environment. He has written legislation and policy statements and filed briefs as a "friend of the court." An integrative thinker who brings his interdisciplinary background to teaching and research, Norton is known for his careful listening skills, his ability to synthesize information and to reach a decision or recommend a course of action in a timely way.
In addition to being a committed teacher and researcher, Norton is soccer coach for teams on which his two sons play and is also a "city farmer," raising chickens in his Ann Arbor backyard.