November 16, 2015

Penn IUR to Host MUSA GIS Day on the Intersection of Geography, Real Estate and Human Rights

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – November 16, 2015 –The Penn Institute for Urban Research (Penn IUR) is pleased to announce “Penn GIS Day: The Intersection of Geography, Real Estate and Civil Rights,” an event that will bring together real estate and spatial analytics experts to discuss the potential of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to advance the fields of real estate and housing, and to promote civil rights.

The event will be held on November 18th at the University of Pennsylvania in conjunction with the National GIS Day celebration. The forum will include panel presentations as well as a data visualization workshop. Panel speakers include Al Parker, Research Associate, The Reinvestment Fund; Alan Lightfeldt, Senior Data Analyst, Zillow & StreetEasy; and Robert Renner, Social Science Analyst, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The panel will present new spatial information now available for informing policy on housing markets. Newly released data show that in most metropolitan areas house prices have recovered following the Great Recession but wage growth has been slow and credit conditions remain tight. Rents relative to income are substantially above historical levels, particularly in those that experience the fastest job growth. The panel will discuss the equity implications for access to jobs and homeownership, particularly for young and minority households.

The forum will also celebrate the 10th anniversary of Penn’s Master of Urban Spatial Analytics (MUSA) program with an alumni panel to highlight cutting edge geospatial technologies. Alumni presenters include, Guy Thigpen, Director of Data Analytics, the Redevelopment Authority; Ken Steif, Lecturer, University of Pennsylvania; and Sarah Cordivano, Project Manager, Data Analytics, Azavea. Following the panels there will be a technical data visualization workshop hosted by MUSA lecturers Ken Steif, Karl Dailey, and Randy Olson.

The event will begin at 10 am on November 18th, at the University of Pennsylvania’s Meyerson Hall. Co-sponsors include the Master of Urban Spatial Analytics program, the Cartographic Modeling Lab, the Wharton GIS Lab, Penn Design, and Penn Engineering.

All media interested in attending, please contact Deborah Lang at or 215.880.2372.



Media Contact:

Deborah Lang
Communications Director

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