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Paolo Riani is an Italian born architect and urban planner of award-winning projects worldwide spanning a professional career of over 30 years.

He began the formative years of his practice in the office of Kenzo Tange in Tokyo. With a libera docenza (Italian Ph. D.) in architecture from the University of Florence he moved to New York City in 1971 where he became associate professor of architecture at Columbia University and worked as an architect and consultant to real-estate development firms on large-scale projects. He has published several books and was a co-founder of the Italian architectural magazine L’Arca. In 1994 he turned his attention to the political scene in Italy, where he was elected Senator of the Republic in his native constituency of Lucca in Tuscany. In September 2000, when the Foreign Minister of Italy appointed Mr. Riani as Director of the Italian Cultural Institute in New York City, his challenge began to represent Italy’s enormous cultural heritage and its contemporary accomplishments to a discerning American audience. His most recent work on urban planning projects addresses the complexities of sustainable growth.


Architetto e urbanista, ha vissuto nel mondo lasciando segni un po’ dappertutto. Ha costruito a Tokyo, New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Mosca, Riyadh e naturalmente in Italia. Professore associato alla Columbia University, School of Architecture a New York (1970/1974) e professore di composizione architettonica presso la facoltà di Ingegneria dell’Università di Pisa (2004/presente). Senatore della Repubblica (1994/1997). Direttore dell’Istituto Italiano di Cultura a New York (2000/2003) è anche scrittore, fotografo e autore di diversi libri di architettura e di viaggi.