Robert W. Marans

marans's picture
Research Professor
  • Office of the Provost
    • Institute for Social Research
  • Arch. and U.P. (Taubman)
    • Architecture
(734) 763-9818

Robert W. Marans is a research professor 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 his tenure at U-M, 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 physical 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 changes in the built and natural environments on quality of life and issues of sustainability and energy conservation in institutional settings. He currently is co-principal investigator of U-M's Sustainability Cultural Indicators Program, a munti-year effort to measure and track the culture of sustainability on campus.

      Marans is a registered architect and is active in recreation policy and planning in southeastern Michigan.  He is president of the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission and commissioner-vice chair of the Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority in southeastern Michigan. He also has served as a trustee of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, and on the executive committee of  U-M’s Transportation Research Institute, and the boards of the University’s Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy, the Michigan Land Use Institute, and the Legacy Land Conservancy. Dr. Marans is the author or co-author of 7 books and more than 100 articles and technical reports. His latest  book is Investigating the Quality of Urban Life: Theory, Methods, and Empirical Research.. He is the recipient of the 2012 Career Award of the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) and is a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners (FAICP).    He currently serves on the editorial boards of several professional journals and has lectured throughout the US, and in Europe, Asia, South Africa, South America, Australia, and the Middle East.