Marc Norman is the founder of the consulting firm “Ideas and Action” and an Associate Professor of Practice at the University of Michigan, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning.
Marc Norman is an internationally recognized expert on policy and finance for affordable housing and community development. Trained as an urban planner, he has worked in the field of community development and finance for over 20 years. With degrees in political economics (University of California Berkeley, Bachelors of Art, 1989) and urban planning (University of California Los Angeles, Master of Art, 1992) and experience with for-profit and non-profit organizations, consulting firms and investment banks, Norman has worked collaboratively to develop or finance over 2,000 units totaling more than $400 million in total development costs.
Norman began his professional work as an intern with the Planning Department of Los Angeles County, moving to a project management role at Skid Row Housing Trust, a non-profit development corporation providing supportive housing in Los Angeles. He moved into leadership positions with several financial institutions, including Lehman Brothers (Senior Associate), Duvernay + Brooks (Managing Director), and Deutsche Bank (Vice President), specializing in complex financing for affordable housing and economic development projects. Through those endeavors he has conducted or participated in a wide array of projects related to strategic planning, affordable housing development, lending, and investment. He has notable experience in the use of tax credits for affordable housing development.
Norman is the president of his own consulting firm “Ideas and Action,” working nationally and internationally on projects promoting affordable housing and community development.
In addition to his professional achievements, Norman was previously a professor of practice at Syracuse University, where he engaged with both students and communities by teaching courses on real estate and housing policy in the Syracuse School of Architecture. He also implemented initiatives as Director of UPSTATE: A Center for Design Research and Real Estate, in collaboration with city, state, and university partners.
A 2014-2015 Harvard Loeb Fellow at the Graduate School of Design, Norman complements his professional practice and teaching experience with scholarly writings and curation of exhibitions. Norman’s most recent exhibition is “Designing Affordability,” an exhibition of best practices in policy, finance and architecture encompassing projects from around the world. The exhibition has run in the U.S., Australia and is currently running in the 2017 Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture in Shenzhen, China. His most recent article, “Demapping Automotive Landscapes,” appears in the publication “Housing as Intervention: Architecture Toward Social Equity.” Earlier publications include, “Projecting Rust Belt Futures: Underwriting Icicles and Leveraging Sidewalks” which outlined strategies for bringing investment in neighborhoods where values do not support traditional lending methods.
Norman engages in numerous public service and academic service activities. Since 1994, he has served as a board member for numerous non-profit and community organizations addressing issues of affordable housing and design, currently serving on the board of MASS Design Group, Design Futures Forum, CAMBA Housing Ventures, and the Federal Reserve’s Community Advisory Board.