Richard K. Norton is a professor of urban and regional planning at the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. He also holds a joint appointment as a professor in the Program in the Environment through U-M’s College of Literature, Science, and the Arts and School for Environment and Sustainability. Norton teaches and conducts research in the areas of planning law, sustainable development, land use and environmental planning, and coastal area management. Most of his research has focused on the challenges of managing coastal shorelands along the Laurentian Great Lakes. He also contributes actively to public service through community-engaged research and teaching, and by serving on the planning law committee of the Michigan Association of Planning (MAP). In that role, he has taken the lead in preparing draft legislation for the Michigan Legislature to reform the state’s planning and zoning enabling laws. He has also written friend-of-the-court appellate briefs to the Michigan Court of Appeals, the Michigan Supreme Court, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit on behalf of the American Planning Association and MAP regarding planning and zoning disputes in the state. Prior to completing his graduate studies, Norton worked in professional practice as a consulting environmental policy analyst and planner in Washington, D.C., and San Francisco.
He earned his Ph.D. in city and regional planning and his J.D. at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, along with master’s degrees in public policy studies and environmental management from Duke University.