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About Dr. Michelle M. Thompson, GISP, FRGS

Dr. Michelle M. Thompson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Planning & Urban Studies and Geography at the University of New Orleans. Michelle received a Certified Geographic Information Services Professional (GISP #91061) and is a former Fellow with the Royal Geographical Society (London). Michelle teaches courses in applied geographic information systems, community development finance, urban public finance, housing, urban studies, american city planning, neighborhood and land use planning. She received a Masters in Regional Planning'84 and Ph.D.'01 from the Cornell University Department of City and Regional Planning with a focus on community development and spatial analysis using geographic information systems (GIS). The CRP Thesis was entitled "The Development of Pedestrianization in the United States: A Case Study Evaluation of Boston's Downtown Crossing." [] The PhD dissertation title is "The implications of spatial patterns and policies for residential valuation in Boston, Massachusetts." [] Michelle received her Bachelor of Arts in Policy Studies from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs from Syracuse University in 1982.
Michelle has worked in both public and private companies related to the finance of residential and commercial real estate. Michelle was the Principal of Thompson RE Consultants, a real estate research and education firm. She previously worked for the RECOLL Management Corporation (Fleet Bank) as well as the Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency (now Mass Housing) as a review appraiser of affordable housing development projects. In addition, she was a licensed residential real estate appraiser in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts providing fee appraisal services. Michelle has a long-term interest in working with community development organizations to provide technical support, market research and evaluation services.
Michelle’s research focuses the application of public participation geographic information systems (PPGIS) in community development and reinvestment. Michelle created the web-based community mapping service,, which combines parcel level neighborhood condition information with public data to monitor socio-economic and demographic changes. Michelle has evaluated public reinvestment of Louisiana Land Trust Properties through the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority in order to consider a new definition of market value in this weak market city. Michelle has worked with the Associated Neighborhood Development to identify areas of potential reinvestment while evaluating community health & safety indicators in Hoffman Triangle. Michelle has provided support to, and conducted research on, the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative. Michelle was a Faculty Associate with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and a Visiting Lecturer in the Cornell University Department of City and Regional Planning. Michelle was co-founder of, and continues to provide advice to Cross World Africa, Inc., a 504(c)3, providing cultural, education and micro-finance resources in Sub-Saharan Africa.
From 2017-2018 Michelle participated in the inaugural New America Public Information Technology Data Fellow program with support from the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth. Michelle will also participate in the inaugural class of Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth 'Data Fellow' program to extend the public and private participation (p3GIS) method that she pioneered through the New America PIT "Financial Inclusion & Citizen Participation" project.


Present Associate Professor, University of New Orleans

Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

Geographic Information Systems, Community & Economic Development, Public Participation Geographic Information Systems, and Housing

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Honors and Awards

  • 2014 UNO Faculty Mentor Award
  • 2012 Louisiana Special Achievement Award in Remote Sensing and GIS


  • MURP 6051 Housing & Community Development
  • MURP 4081 Infomation Technology for the Planning Profession
  • MURP 4002 Introduction to Neighborhood Planning
  • MURP 4050 Land Use Planning & Plan Making
  • URBN 2000 The New Orleans Region
  • MURP 4200 American City Planning


1996 - 2001 PhD, Cornell univer ‐ city and regional planning
1982 - 1984 MRP, Cornell U ‐ City and Regional Planning
1978 - 1982 BA, Syracuse University ‐ Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs

Contact Information

Department of Planning & Urban Studies
380 Milneburg Hall
New Orleans, LA 70148
w: 504-280-6593


Article/Journal (7)

Books (2)

Recent Works (11)

Research Works (5)