Italy is gearing up for Expo Milano 2015, a universal exposition with “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life” as its central theme. Over 140 countries are scheduled to share insights on culture, technology, innovation, traditions and creativity as they relate to food and sustainability, with the goal of promoting wellness throughout the world. Exploring connections between food, hospitality and community, the event will also give destinations in northern Italy—Lombardy to Piedmont—the opportunity to showcase their heritage, culture and culinary finesse.
An entire “living city,” is being built for the event, with design-driven spaces carved out for streets, restaurants, events and concerts. The sustainable city will be surrounded by an 800,000-sf forest of 5,000 trees and 34,000 shrubs. The Universal Exposition site is comprised of five distinct and visually evocative spaces. The Cascina Triulza farmstead, for instance, is a symbol of Milan’s farming and agricultural heyday. The building has been reimagined for Expo Milano 2015, offering networking spaces, an auditorium for workshops and labs, activities and interpretative exhibits. Cascina Trizula will be left as a heritage landmark for Milan at the end of the event. All of the exhibition sites are being sustainably designed; the structure covering the stage of an open air theater for 11,000 will have solar panels, allowing performances to be powered by renewable energy.
The exhibition area in the Italian Pavilion will function as a live stage from dusk to dawn, animated by thousands of performances, concerts, workshops and exhibitions. Thematic areas include biodiversity and future food exhibition spaces, a children’s park and future food district. Overall, the expo will stretch across over 10 million sf.
One of the more symbolic and awe-inspiring exhibition areas is the Lake Arena, a water pond fed by the Villoresi Canal, that is surrounded by 100 trees and room for 20,000 people. The pond is anchored by a fountain and “tree of life,” symbolizing the life-giving aspect of water, which is positioned in the center.
Participant countries will be able to choose their own exhibition area inside Expo Milano, ranging from 5,000 to 50,000 sf. The futuristic architecture and mirrored glass buildings of World Avenue, located on the main street, is expected to be the most sought-after exhibit area.
Milan’s close proximity to Linate and Malpensa airports, high-speed rail line and metro access are expected to usher in an estimated 20 million visitors.
In preparation for the event, the Italian government asked members of the United Nations and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), and other stakeholders in the global debate to get involved. For the first time in the history of the Expo, 13 NGOs will play a fundamental role in the development of the project. Working together and playing to their individual strengths, they will be called upon to interpret and make a real contribution to the theme of Expo 2015 “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.” Expo Milano is scheduled to take place May through October in 2015.