Through Time and the City: Notes on Rome offers a new approach to exploring cities. Using Rome as a guide, the book follows familiar sites, geographies, and characters in search of their role within a larger narrative that includes the environmental processes required to generate enough space and material for the city, the emergent ecologies to which its buildings play host, and the social patterns its various structures help to organize.
Through Time and the City argues that Rome is made and unmade by an endlessly evolving chorus that has, for better or worse, gained geological legitimacy; that the city absorbs and emits countless artifacts in its search for collective identity; that the city is a platform for the constant staging of negotiations between agents (humans, buildings, plants, animals, pathogens, goods, waste, water) that drive and are driven by the entanglements of climate and culture. This book provides textual and visual frameworks for identifying the material traces, emergent patterns, or speculated futures that expose a city as inseparable from its capacity to change.
What lies beneath the surficial evidence of the Anthropocene is the organicism of deep time - and it permeates this wonderfully rich journey through culture and climate, fever and floods, preserved in mud and material, emitted in detritus, debris, and deposition. Through Time and the City weaves a seductive (and serious) narrative through the sumptuous (and slippery) geologic landscape layers of Rome, revealing and reflecting nothing less than the living core of the Eternal City's history, and through it, the complex stories of our time.
— NINA-MARIE LISTER, Associate Professor and Director, Graduate Program in Urban Planning, Ecological Design Lab, Ryerson University
Chapter 1: On Rome, by Way of Introduction
Section 1: Foundational Systems
Chapter 2: On a Geological Inheritance
Chapter 3: On the Space of Flooding
Section 2: Umbrellas and Indicators
Chapter 4: On Climate, Fever, and Force
Chapter 5: On the Projective City
Chapter 6: On Ritual Urbanism and the Via Papalis
Section 3: Keystones
Chapter 7: On the Magnitude of Relics
Chapter 8: On Stone, Continuity, and Romantias
Chapter 9: On Time and the City