News & Press: University Member News

UMass Boston's School for the Environment Hires New Environmental Planning/Ecological Design Faculty

Friday, May 19, 2017  
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UMass Boston's newly launched MS in Urban Planning and Community Development Program is pleased to announce the hiring of a new tenure-track faculty member in the area of environmental planning and ecological design.

Dr. Antonio Raciti, a graduate of the Ph.D. Program in Urban Planning and Design, at the University of Catania in Sicily will be joining the UMass Boston planning faculty in September of 2017. Professor Raciti will be engaged in research, teaching, and service activities in the areas of: environmental planning, resiliency planning, urban design, and participatory action research.

Professor Raciti is coming to UMass Boston from the University of Memphis where he has served as an Assistant Professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning. During his time at the University of Memphis, Professor Raciti undertook externaally-funded research projects examining the state of public housing in Downtown Memphis, redevelopment of a WPA-era urban environmental education center, and establishment of an eco-park in West Memphis.

In addition to these activities, Professor Raciti played a pivotal role in planning, designing, and managing a mobile food market, called the Green Machine, that brought fresh food to those living in Memphis' many food deserts.
Prior to joining the Memphis faculty, Professor Raciti completed a professional degree in architectural engineering and a terminal degree in urban planning and design at the University of Catania. While completing his Ph.D., Professor Raciti served as the President of the Association of European Schools of Planning Young Scholars Network.

In addition, he played a central role in supporting residents of Sicily's Simeto River Valley in successfully opposing the construction of a large waste-to-energy facility. He subsequently assisted this network of local environmentalists, farmers, business owners, and municipal officials in creating Italy's first legally enforceable, regional development plan, known as the Simeto River Agreement.

This summer Professor Raciti will be co-directing the CoPEDS Summer Environmental Stewardship Program in the Simeto Valley. Five UMass Boston students and Professor Jack Wiggin of SFE and the Urban Harbor Institute will be participating in this exciting action research program designed to explore alternative strategies for achieving "zero waste" in this ecologically rich, but fragile, river valley.

Professor Ken Reardon, Director of the Ms in Urban Planning and Community Development Program, stated, "We are delighted to have Professor Raciti join the School for the Environment faculty. He brings new expertise in the areas of ecological design, urban place-making, and participatory action research to our program and school. He also strengthens our ties to leading European research centers and universities, especially those committed to highly participatory approaches to urban planning and design".


The Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning promotes education, research, service and outreach in the United States and throughout the world by seeking to:

  • recognize diverse needs and interests in planning;
  • improve and enhance the accreditation process, and;
  • strengthen the role of planning education in colleges and universities through publications, conferences, and community engagement;
  • extend planning beyond the classroom into the world of practice.