Robert Marans

Robert W Marans

Professor Emeritus of Architecture and Urban Planning, A Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning & Research Professor Emeritus of Survey Research Center, Inst for Social Research


Robert W. Marans is a research professor emeritus at the Institute for Social Research and a professor emeritus of architecture and urban planning in the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan. During the past 40 years, Dr. Marans has conducted evaluative studies and research dealing with various aspects of communities, neighborhoods, housing, and parks and recreation and recreational facilities. His research has focused on user requirements and the manner in which attributes of the built, natural, and sociocultural environments influence individual and group behavior and the quality of community life. Much of Dr. Marans’ research has been in the context of urban areas. His current research considers the impact of the physical environments on health and well-being, and issues of sustainability and energy conservation in institutional settings.

Marans is a registered architect and is active in recreation policy and planning in southeastern Michigan. He is a charter member and past-president of the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission and commissioner and chair of the Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority (HCMA), the governing body responsible for the planning, development, and operations of the metroparks throughout Southeastern Michigan. He also serves as a trustee of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy and has served on the executive committee of the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, and the boards of the University’s Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy, the Groundworks Center for Resilient Communities (formerly the Michigan Land Use Institute), and the Legacy Land Conservancy. Dr. Marans is the author or co-author of 8 books and more than 100 articles and technical reports. His awards include a Social Science Research Council Pre-doctoral Fellow (1970), a Fulbright Scholar (1977), Environmental Design Research Association Career Award (2012), Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners (2014), and Crain’s Notable Non-Profit Board Member (2021). He currently serves on the editorial boards of several professional journals and has lectured extensively throughout the US and in Europe, Asia, South Africa, South America, Australia, and the Middle East.

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