September 28, 2017

Please join us for a CUSP seminar with Kenneth Steif, Ph.D, Department of City and Regional Planning, University of Pennsylvania.

Spatial Data Science and City Planning


City planners design, implement and evaluate place-based investments — and have traditionally used data to accomplish these goals. Recently, new planning-related use cases have emerged as a result of innovations in the collection, storage, analysis and visualization of place-based data. This talk will discuss several of these emerging use cases; related spatial data science methods and why human, rather than technological roadblocks are preventing many cities from adopting these methods into their decision-making processes.


Ken Steif is the Program Director for the MUSA program and a lecturer in the MUSA and City Planning programs. After receiving his PhD from Penn, he founded Urban Spatial, a consultancy at the intersection of data science and public policy.

Ken Steif has been at the forefront of data driven public policy for more than a dozen years.  He combines technical knowledge of spatial analysis, econometrics and machine learning 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.