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Feeding the Planet

EXPO 2015

Expo 2015 (World Exposition Milano 2015, Italy) is the current Universal Exposition being hosted by Milan, Italy from May 1 to October 31, 2015. The event is organized by Expo 2015 SpA, constituted by the Italian government, the Lombardy Region, the Province of Milan, the Milan City Council and the Chamber of Commerce of Milan.

The theme chosen for the Expo 2015 is “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life” and intends to include everything related to food, from food education, severe food shortages afflicting many areas of the world to the issues related to GMOs.

Milano hosted already the Universal Exhibition in 1906 with the theme “Transport”.

The chosen area for the event is located in the north-western area of Milan (90% in the county seat’s district and 10% in Rho) and occupies 110 hectares surface next to the new Milano’s exposition centre. This area was once occupied by industrial manufacturing facilities and then it was destined both for agricultural and logistical uses and for municipal services.

The exposition area is organized as an island surrounded by a water canal and is structured around two perpendicular axes which represent two main roads of ancient Roman cities: the Cardo and the Decumanus. All the national pavilions are similarly positioned, overlooking the large Decumanus, the World Avenue, which is 1.5 km long and 35 metres wide, the Italian Regional and Provincial pavilions with the excellences of the area are set out along the Cardo instead.

Where the two axes meet, there is a large square Piazza Italia of 4,350 m². “Palazzo Italia”, the pavilion of the organising country, stands to the north of the Cardo and looks out over Lake Arena, an arena resembling a lake, which is 98 metres in diameter. The southern side instead, hosts an Open Air Theatre of around 10,000 m² offering around 9,000 seats. At one end of the Decumano there is a large Mediterranean hill (the volume is 82 800 m³) and at the other end there is the Expo Center with a total volume of around 6300 m². The two main entrances to the site, to the south and west, feature two passageways which respectively link the Cascina Merlata area and the suburban district of the Fiera di Milano.

The conception of the exposition site was committed to the experienced architects and the young recently graduates from Expo 2015 Spa, with the support of internationally renowned architects such as Stefano Boeri, Ricky Burdett and Jacques Herzog. The official presentation of the Master plan 2010 took place on April 26, 2010. This Master plan and its all further versions result as reviews of a concept plan projected initially in 2009.

The access to the site is guaranteed by a highly developed net of infrastructures: the Rho Fiera station of the 1st line of the Milan subway, the Rho Fiera Milano train station served by suburban, regional and high-speed trains, and the A4, A8 and A9 motorways Milano-Como-Laghi. The 3 airports of Malpensa, Linate and Bergamo are also easily reached.

Moreover, the site will be connected to the city thanks to the Via d’Acqua, a project meant to redevelop Darsena and some areas of Naviglio to connect the center of the city to the Expo through the cycle-pedestrian itinerary that crosses the park Parco delle Cave.

The theme chosen for the 2015 Milan Universal Exposition is Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life. It embraces technology, innovation, culture, traditions and creativity related to food. The main theme is the inalienable right of all the Earth population to the healthy, secure and sufficient nutrition. The concern for the quality of the food in a constantly growing world (to an estimated 9 billion of inhabitants on the Earth in 2050) is accompanied by the growth of risks associated with the global quantity of the available food in virtue of the intensive and unsustainable use of the planet’s natural resources.

Photographer: Blerta Koci

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