About

Urban Spatial consults at the intersection of data science and public policy. Founded in 2014 by Dr. Ken Steif, Urban Spatial combines spatial analysis, econometrics and predictive analytics to help government, business and the non-profit sector more efficiently allocate their limited resources across space. While our placed-based emphasis makes us unique, our real value-added is our ability to work across multiple related domains including urban economics, housing, neighborhoods, city & environmental planning, business siting, governance, economic development, public safety and beyond.

Ken Steif, PhD – Founder – @KenSteif

Ken Steif has been at the forefront of data driven public policy for more than a dozen years.  He combines technical knowledge of Geographic Information Systems and applied statistics with an interest in housing policy, education, the economics of neighborhood change, transportation policy and more.  Ken is the Director of the Master of Urban Spatial Analytics at the University of Pennsylvania and teaches multiple courses in the City Planning department at Penn. His work has focused on the costs and benefits of gentrification; on the Philadelphia school crisis and the connection between good schools and neighborhood economic development; and on the use of machine learning to help democratize the planning process.  He is a resident of West Philadelphia where he lives with his wife Diana and their son Emil.

Michael Fichman, Research Analyst

Michael is a City Planner with experience in numerous forms of quantitative and qualitative research. He has consulting and research experience in geospatial analysis, predictive modeling, environmental planning, affordable housing development, transportation economics, strategic planning and surveying. He holds a Masters in City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania and a BS in Biology from Haverford College. He spent over a decade in the music industry – as a performer, composer and record label executive.  He is also an accomplished freelance journalist. Michael has written about sports, politics, food and more for the Philadelphia Weekly, Vice Magazine and other outlets.