Marc Norman has dedicated his career to finding remedies to inequality and promoting economic development and social justice through innovative financial strategies paired with community development and design. As director of UPSTATE, a Center for Design Research and Real Estate at Syracuse University School of Architecture, he supports mechanisms that reduce the cost of housing, expand access to education and employment opportunities and promote health.
With a background in real estate development and mortgage banking, Norman works with architects and housing and transportation professionals to capture the best practices from multiple fields to achieve supportive integrative neighborhoods. He helped shift the debate on Interstate 81 from expanding an obsolete highway to repairing the urban fabric, and he has shown how meeting the needs of prison re-entry populations can be good for the entire community. He has also shown how applying ecological design to manage storm water can also invigorate a neighborhood, and he teaches students and practitioners to deploy their design skills and secure financing in service of social goals.
During the coming year as a Loeb, Norman will survey existing best practices in finance and design and synthesize the most promising attributes to create a social innovation fund that promotes smart, progressive, holistic approaches to building a more equitable urban world. A workshop in fall 2014 will engage architecture, finance, planning and development experts to identify models and structure funding. A second workshop in spring 2015 will launch the Design Innovation Fund.