American architect Tom Rankin has lived in Rome, practicing architecture and teaching, since 1991. He received his Master's in Architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, a BA in Architecture at Princeton, and a "Laurea" in Architecture at Università di Roma ‘La Sapienza’. He was founder of the successful non-profit cultural travel association Scala Reale and continues to support culturally and environmentally sustainable travel as a partner in Rankin & Greene LLC. Tom teaches at the Università di Roma “La Sapienza” (School of Engineering), the California Polytechnic Rome Program in Architecture and the Iowa State Rome Program. He is a Fulbright, a proprietor of the Boston Athenaeum, a founding member of ISAR (isarome.org) and Director of the association Tevereterno Onlus. Tom is the author of Rome Works: An Architect Explores the World’s Most Sustainable City and has written numerous articles on sustainable urbanism and presented frequently at conferences. His blog on the Still SustainableCity was chosen by Guardian Cities as the best Italian city blog and is a reference point for sustainable urbanism in Rome.
Rivers are amazing resources for cities, but they need ideas, projects and above all maintenance and regulation. With the localized exception of Piazza Tevere with site-specific art projects such as William Kentridge’s Triumphs and Laments, Rome has had none of these for years.… read more
I got a chance to check out the new metro station just before it opened to the public on Saturday. Absolutely spectacular! The finds on display tell the story of Rome through stratigraphy (graphically marked with a clear indication of level below modern ground), chronology (with key dates popping up as you descend) and themes (color coding of themes dear to Sustainable Rome readers: water, reuse, etc.).… read more
This morning they shut off the drinking fountain outside where I teach in the Ghetto. Some say the extended drought is making such sacrifices necessary. Sensational photos of Lake Bracciano, at historic low, are tied with claims that the city’s famous water supply is running out.… read more
A couple of months ago New York Times columnist Frank Bruni called me to ask about Rome. On a recent trip he had been struck by the paradox of newly cleaned monuments surrounded by developing world squalor, and he wanted to know my take.… read more
Last Sunday a small group of intrepid walkers, some from La Sapienza where I teach, joined me in commemorating the great urban thinker Jane Jacobs by exploring Rome’s Tiburtino and Nomentana neighborhoods. I had designed a similar walk years ago as part of a series I dubbed “ecological itineraries.”… read more
Rome is great, especially in the spring, but once in a while I find an excuse to escape to Orvieto, in southern Umbria, one of the closest cities to Rome that has managed to free its historic center from automobiles.
Once was on our honeymoon; although we were directed to Firenze we got a late start and Orvieto seemed a nice town along the way.… read more