Domenic Vitiello

Domenic Vitiello

Associate Professor of City Planning and Urban Studies Stuart Weitzman School of Design


Domenic Vitiello is Associate Professor of City Planning (Design) and Urban Studies (Arts & Sciences). An urban historian and planner, he has worked for over two decades with immigrant-led organizations in Philadelphia and other North American cities, and more recently in Italy. Since 2010, Domenic has partnered with colleagues at the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (New York), Asian Americans United (Philadelphia), Chinese Progressive Association (Boston), and other organizations on research supporting efforts to preserve East Coast US cities’ downtown Chinatowns. With former Urban Studies students, he has written about the destruction of Chinatowns across North America and about property ownership, neighborhood change, and what it means to preserve Chinatowns today. His book, The Sanctuary City: Immigrant, Refugee, and Receiving Communities in Postindustrial Philadelphia, details the experiences of Southeast Asians and other communities since the 1970s. It won the Urban History Association’s Kenneth Jackson Book Award in 2023. Domenic’s next book project, Everyday Urban Agriculture, documents the social impacts of community gardening in Korean, Southeast Asian, and other migrant communities in Philadelphia, Camden, and Chicago.  

Courses Taught

The Urban Food Chain (URBS 0248) 

The Immigrant City (URBS/SOCI/LALS 0270) 

Penn Global Seminar - Palermo: Empires, Mafias, and Migrations (URBS/ITAL 2952) 

Introduction to City Planning: History, Theory, and Practice (CPLN 5000 / URBS 4400)  

Metropolitan Food Systems (CPLN 6210) 

Migration and Development (CPLN/SOCI 6280) 


Editor for the Americas, Urban History (Cambridge University Press journal)  

Board member, International Planning History Society  

Board member, Society for American City and Regional Planning History  

Affiliated faculty member in Penn’s History Department; Center for Latin American and Latinx Studies; and Center for the Study of Ethnicity, Race, and Immigration; Graduate Groups in City and Regional Planning and History