photo of Michael Fichman

Michael Fichman



Michael Fichman is a Lecturer in the Master of Urban Spatial Analytics (MUSA) program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Weitzman School of Design. He is also a Research Associate with PennPraxis. Michael is a city planner who practices and researches in a variety of fields, including nighttime cities, arts and culture, spatial analytics, land use, environmental planning, and transportation. In his practice and his teaching in the MUSA program he specializes in open-source analytics, data visualization, spatial analysis, machine learning, and data-driven public sector governance.

Michael is an international leader in policy, research, and advocacy related to nighttime cities and nightlife arts and culture - a practice based on his 20 years in the music industry as a DJ, producer, composer and label executive. He is an editor and author of the Global Nighttime Recovery Plan, an influential multinational effort to support nighttime industries through the pandemic. Along with consultancy VibeLab, he works on the Creative Footprint Project - a multi-city community census and analysis of urban creative space. He is a member of Philadelphia City Council’s Arts and Culture Task Force, where he proposed and designed Philadelphia's Nighttime Economy Office in 2021. He is also a Knight Foundation / 880 Cities Emerging City Champion for his work with nightlife community group 24HrPHL.

Michael teaches the following courses at Weitzman - MUSA 508 (Public Policy Analytics), MUSA 801 (Smart Cities Practicum), CPLN 675 (Land Use and Environmental Modeling), and MUSA 795 (Spatial Analysis Bootcamp).

Work and Research