City and Regional Planning

Dominic Vitiello

Domenic Vitiello

Associate Professor


Courses Taught

Introduction to City and Regional Planning: Past and Present (CPLN 500/URBS 440)
Metropolitan Food Systems (CPLN 621)
Migration and Development (CPLN 628) 
The Immigrant City (URBS/SOCI 270)
The Industrial Metropolis (URBS 103)

Research Interests

Immigrant communities; urban agriculture and food system planning; urban and planning history.

Recent and current projects focus on:

Immigration, civil society, and sanctuary, including a book titled The Sanctuary City that examines Central American, Southeast Asian, Liberian, Arab, and Mexican immigration since the 1970s; and comparative study of sanctuary cities and immigrant communities in Italy and the United States. Read Domenic's essays on immigration and community development in the Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia and PlanPhilly.

Urban agriculture and poverty in the global North and South, including comparative research on the community economic development impacts of urban farming and gardening around the world, and a book on the social impacts of community gardening in Camden, Chicago, and Philadelphia. Read reports on research in the U.S. and student work on urban agriculture and community food systems. 

The destruction and preservation of Chinatowns in the U.S. and Canada. Listen to Domenic and Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation director John Chin discuss Philadelphia's Chinatown; and read about Domenic's research with Penn Urban Studies alum Arthur Acolin, on property ownership and neighborhood change in Boston and Philadelphia. 

Selected Publications


Domenic Vitiello and Zoe Blickenderfer, "The Planned Destruction of Chinatowns in the United States and Canada since c.1900," Planning Perspectives (2020). 

Domenic Vitiello, "Sanctuary and the City," The Metropole (2019). 

Arthur Acolin and Domenic Vitiello, "Who Owns Chinatown: Neighborhood Change and Preservation in Boston and Philadelphia," Urban Studies (2018). 

Domenic Vitiello and Arthur Acolin, “Institutional Ecosystems of Housing Support in Chinese, Southeast Asian, and African Philadelphia,” Journal of Planning Education and Research (2017).

Domenic Vitiello and Thomas J. Sugrue, editors, Immigration and Metropolitan Revitalization in the United States (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017).

Food and Urban Agriculture:

Domenic Vitiello, "Urban Agriculture as a Public Good? Valuing Agriculture in Philadelphia and Chicago," in a volume celebrating food planning pioneer Jerome Kaufman (Springer, 2020). 

Domenic Vitiello, Jeane Ann Grisso, Rebecca Fischman, and K. Leah Whiteside, “From Commodity Surplus to Food Justice: Food Banks and Local Agriculture in the United States,” Agriculture and Human Values (2015).

Domenic Vitiello and Catherine Brinkley, “The Hidden History of Food System Planning,” Journal of Planning History vol.13, no.2 (2014), 91-112. Honorable mention for best article in the journal, 2013-2015.

Domenic Vitiello and Laura Wolf-Powers, “Growing Food to Grow Cities? The Potential of Agriculture for Local Economic Development in the Urban United States,” Community Development Journal (2014).

Urban and Planning History:

Domenic Vitiello, “Infrastructure: Lifelines, Mobility, and Urban Development,” in Planning History Handbook, edited by Carola Hein (Routledge, 2017).

Domenic Vitiello, Engineering Philadelphia: The Sellers Family and the Industrial Metropolis (Cornell University Press, 2013).

Domenic Vitiello, “Monopolizing the Metropolis: Gilded Age Growth Machines and Power in American Urbanization,” Planning Perspectives, vol. 28, no. 1 (2013), 71-90.  Winner of the prize for best article in the journal, 2012-14.

Degrees and Experience

B.A. in Archaeology, Wesleyan University
M.C.P. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Ph.D. in History, University of Pennsylvania

Domenic and his students have worked with numerous community organizations in the Philadelphia region and transnationally, helping design, implement, and evaluate programs and small enterprises with community development corporations, immigrant and refugee resettlement agencies, and food and urban agriculture organizations.  He has served on the boards of the African Cultural Alliance of North America, JUNTOS/Casa de los Soles, Philadelphia Orchard Project, Society for American City and Regional Planning History, and presently the International Planning History Society.  Domenic is Editor for the Americas for the journal Urban History.