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.
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 canals, the Darsena dock and the Leonardesche gates.
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.
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.