At Milan, there is already a certain taste of Universal exposition! J
Before coming back to Rome, I’ve spent 4 days in Milan at the end of March. I had not come to this city since nearly 6 years and last time, I didn’t speak Italian! I was welcomed and hosted by Juliette, and we tried during those days to meet the main 2015 Expo stakeholders and to immerse ourselves in the city. It was a really intense and beautiful program! I agree with Giuliano Pisapia, the Milan mayor who affirmed during a conference at the beginning of March that “Anyone coming to Milan will discover a city already changed”, and certainly a city that already has a certain taste of Universal Exposition.
The whole town in buzzing, Expo themes are in the spotlights, but there are still many challenges to take up: transportation, building works, opposition movements… However, as optimist as I am, I do believe that the inventiveness, responsiveness and Italian kindness will get through it. I do hope so in every case, because the 2015 Expo main themes, nutrition and agriculture, deserve it.
Little summary in photo of my visit! Have a nice reading and viewing!
2015 Universal Exposition is already very present in the city
The Expo is everywhere: in the streets, billboard, coffees place, public electric cars! The city is transforming itself, and you can see it, especially with the many works in progress.
Nutrition theme is already well highlighted
Nutrition issues are already at the heart of the Milan events program. During my staying, I attended to many conferences, rendezvous, and animation every time with large audiences. Two exemples:
- Opening of the new « Eataly »,the Italian food and gastronomic culture temples! An article will come on this subject. It’s a food retail chain located in the main Italian cities since 2004, and also present worldwide. In addition to sell all kind of Italian typical food products, it also organizes cooking classes, events favoring local and quality. I’ve met someone from Slow Food Milan, and I was lucky to briefly meet the son of the creator of Eataly, Alessandro Farinetti, very charming guy but busy with the opening.And then I ate a zero kilometer mozzarella (produced directly in the shop with local products).
And the week after that was scheduled a fair on responsive consumption « Fa la cosagiusta »
During my visit, I however found that agriculture issues were less evoked. I was quite disappointed by this, because it’s quite impossible to have a qualitative talk about food without talking about agriculture, the two being indivisible.
Nice encounters and a warm welcome « all’italiana »
My departure was decided last minute, and I sent some mails to take appointments without really believe it would work with such short notice. As many time before since I’m in Italy, I was surprised positively: we could met many direct or indirect 2015 Expo or its themes stakeholders: someone from Slowfood Milan, a person from the Triulza foundation in charge of the Civil society pavilion, two people from Expo Spa on the fringe of a conference. Juliette also met briefly the French commissaire for Expo2015 who was in Milan to visit the work aera.
Triulza foundation shares its office with many other organizations in an old industrial area in the north of Milan.
Many challenges to take up
I was able to notice it quickly, Milan, as many big metropoli, is suffering from the congestion of its public transportations. 2015 Expo will be a real challenge.
Indeed more than 100 000 to 200 000 visitors are expected by day, and the Expo site is not located in the city center but in the north-west periphery, in the Rho area.
And the some works in progress are late, in particular the new line 4 of the metropolitan that should allow to connect the Linate airport to the city center. The works allowing high speed train to connect the main airport, Malpensa should be on time according to the Italian minister of transports, Maurizio Lupi. We’ll do an article to sustainable transportations for 2015 Expo later on.
- Opposition movements
While I was in Milan, approximately 70 deputies and elected people of the « Cinque stelle »movement (more information on this movement available on the Wikipedia page) visited the work area. The movement denounces in particular «unusuful works, uncommensurated costs, use of land, wastes, the environmental impacts and dammages on health, and interest of lobbies ».
The canals project « progetto delle Vie d’Acqua » which should allow to bring water up until the Expo area is for instance particulary criticized by some environmental associations. Works had been suspended in order to reengage a dialogue.
But despite all the challenges and difficulties that can expect the city for 2015 Expo, I came back really motivated and impatient.Rendezvous is taken in May 2015, and most certainly before to go for a stroll in Milan, the city that already has a certain taste of Universal exposition ;)!
the 8�g �H h_K erence. Juliette also met briefly the French commissaire for Expo2015 who was in Milan to visit the work aera.