August 18 2014

Expo 2015: Making or Breaking the City of Milan, Italy?

Milan, Italy has been chosen to host the Universal Exhibition in 2015. Expo 2015 will take place from May 1, 2015 until October 31, 2015, and is set to draw millions of visitors from Italy and all over the world. The event provides a showcase for important urban development and job opportunities. It also focuses on fundamental issues concerning humanity such as sustainability, the environment, and transportation.

The theme of Expo Milano 2015 is Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life,” a topic that reflects the challenge of finding the balance between human nutrition and environmental world issues. Even if Milan is already one of the important city-hubs in Europe, Expo 2015 is an opportunity for innovation and improvement of its citizens’ quality of life. The city of Milan will implement the projects and themes of Expo 2015 by using technology and creating connections within the city.

Expo 2015, Milan, Italy

First, the exhibition site will be a digital smart city where visitors can enjoy the experience as real citizens, thereby combining the real and the virtual experience. Visitors will be able to actively participate in the exhibition and receive detailed information about the items in which they are interested via their smart phones.

Second, the green and blue colored ring around the city - made up of water, cycle paths, and routes leading from the city into the Ticino Valley - aim to connect to the main themes of Expo Milano 2015. The design is based on the waterways that characterize Milan and the surrounding Lombardy region, with the paths representing water as a universal right and a communal resource that must be preserved. They also aim to link Milan to its Navigli canalsthe Darsena dock and the Leonardesche gates.

Expo 2015, Milan, Italy

Finally, there is Expo Gate, an architectural structure built to introduce the public to Expo Milano 2015 and to form a bridge between the city and the Exhibition Site. This can be seen in the contradiction between the architecture of Castello Sforzesco and the design of the gate. Acting as an information point and  ticket office, the gate also hosts different events.

Expo 2015, Milan, Italy

Over the years, Universal Exhibitions have had big impacts on their host-cities, leaving behind a strong legacy of physical and tangible transformations: from new infrastructure systems to urban development projects, architecture, and monuments. Some of the world’s most important landmarks like the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Atomium in Brussels or the Space Needle in Seattle are a result of these exhibitions. Expo was also the launching ground for Lisbon’s cultural revival during Expo 1998, whereas Expo 2000 left the city of Hannover with a debt of 600 million Euros and empty buildings, those constructed for the occasion and then abandoned.

As history shows, a successful World Exhibition can provide a complete transformation for a city on the international scene. Will Milan be successful in hosting Expo 2015? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Credits: Images by Alexandra Serbana. Data linked to sources.

Alexandra Serbana

Because of her strong background in Urban Planning and Design, from her bachelor’s at “Ion Mincu” University of Architecture and Urbanism, in Bucharest, Romania, Alexandra decided to pursue planning from the perspective of policy and decision-making. She is passionate about traveling and experimenting with new cities, and moved to Milan, Italy where she is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Urban Planning, Policy, and Design at Politecnico di Milano. The experience of working and living in the multicultural city of Milan has sparked her interest in the reaction of urban places to new real-estate developments, as well as conflict resolution for urban design projects that reorganize urban city life. She hopes to make an improvement on the way cities deal with physical urban changes and their effect on the quality of social and environmental life.

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This entry was posted on Monday, August 18th, 2014 at 9:19 am and is filed under Alexandra Serbana, Community/Economic Development, Environmental Design, Government/Politics, Urban Development/Real Estate, Urban Planning and Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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