Ever since the first edition in 1851 in The Crystal Palace of London, the Universal Exposition has been the perfect stage to show off the most ambitious successes that man has achieved over time. It is an occasion to share technologies, innovation and discoveries. It is also a moment to bring to life architectural projects or artistic movements, and a place where landscapes became cultural symbols of that time, like the Eiffel tower which was built in Paris when the city hosted the Exposition in 1889.
The Universal Exposition is a non-commercial exhibition. A platform that focuses on giving the people, countries and institutions the opportunity to have an international dialogue on hot global topics that are of interest to all. Since the very beginning this was the place to present creativity and knowledge and where every country had the possibility to demonstrate what it could offer to the world at that specific moment.
The Role Of The Host Country
The country that will host the Exposition is chosen through a candidacy process. The Universal Exposition takes place on a dedicated site and all the other countries are invited, through diplomatic channels, to participate. For the host country, the Exposition is an occasion to show the best of national culture, innovation, production and traditions, but is also an opportunity to build strong international relations.
The Tangible Legacy
Every Universal Exposition leaves behind monuments and buildings that become a true calling card for the hosting city, like the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Atomium in Brussels or the Space Needle in Seattle. But that is not all: the Universal Exposition is an opportunity to change the face of the city, to improve quality of life for its citizens and to attract more tourists. The Universal Expositions of Shanghai, Lisbon, Brisbane, Spokane and many other cities have left the legacy of modern neighborhoods, new infrastructures, parks and museums.
The Intangible Legacy: A Message For The Future
The Universal Exposition has changed over time compared to the early editions. Expo still provides a showcase for important developments and opportunities
but is now more focused on important issues concerning humanity. Already the central themes of the Zaragoza, Yeosu and Shanghai
Expos were about water, the oceans and quality of life in cities, respectively, and now the theme of Expo Milano 2015
is Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life
, a topic that reflects the huge challenge of finding a balance between the nutrition of man and respecting the planet.
The Exposition site and all the physical elements that are normally the “tangible”
legacies of an Expo now have to be in keeping with the central theme of the event. So what we will inherit from this new generation of Expo is not the architectural constructions but instead the landscapes, so an “intangible”
There are several intangible aspects that Expo Milano 2015 is going to leave to its participants:
The know-how gained through six months of work, meetings, and congresses focused on the reduction of waste;
The presence of educational elements in every exhibition, event or performance to educate people to make more eco-friendly choices when producing or consuming food;
All the research used for economic, social and production models to improve the eco-sustainability of communities in general;
The sharing of know-how and learning on themes like sustainability;
This intangible inheritance is one of the biggest challenges for Expo Milano 2015.