Matt Nohn is an urban economist and development planner. An expert for urban poverty reduction, he works as an independent consultant i.a. for UN and World Bank. He further serves as Loeb Fellow at Harvard and as advisor to the Mahila Housing SEWA Trust, India and the Affordable Housing Institute, Boston. His CV and further material are posted under publications below.
Matt’s work focuses on solving the housing, land, transportation and employment conundrum in rapidly urbanizing cities. He has worked with every level of urban actor on a diverse portfolio covering over 20 countries, specializing in the delivery of land, infrastructure, housing and life-affirming job opportunities to the urban poor.
At Rapid Urbanism, Matt promotes synergies between spatial planning, social organization, economic development and regulatory frameworks. Learning from informality, he devises truly inclusive interfaces between formal and informal systems, rather than forcing the latter to formalize. Thereby, he aims to develop simple, affordable and sound mechanisms, capable of addressing rapid urbanization at speed and at scale.
Starting his career as a bricklayer in 1995, Matt holds postgraduate degrees in Advanced Environmental Design (Harvard), Public Policy (Harvard), International Affairs (German National Academic Foundation), and Architecture & Planning (TU Darmstadt). At Harvard, he won the Outstanding Policy Analysis Award for Market-based Affordable Housing in Urban India, which contributed to the formation of two community-led real estate and finance companies.
Matt authors studies, journal articles, books and training curricula. He has taught and lectured in Germany, India, Spain and the US. Previously, he served as Visiting Professor for Urban Management at Mundus Urbano where he led the raising of USD 3 million from the EU. In 2013-2014 Matt pursued a sabbatical at Harvard and laid the foundations for training curricula, now delivered at Rapid Urbanism.