At Expo Milano 2015, many countries placed an accent on sustainable policies put into action, such as alternative energy, traceability, water savings, protection of green spaces, etc., and the need to act thoughtfully to preserve the planet.
Starting at the entrance, visitors are immersed in an Austrian forest with a naturally cooler climate, and without air conditioning. The perceived temperature is actually about 5°C less than the outside. The surfaces are made of a multi-layered material that maintains a pleasant temperature. The pavilion is a true air production center: all the plants produce fresh oxygen for 1,800 visitors an hour. After Expo Milano 2015, this refreshing space can be recreated in any city!
The Bahrain Pavilion recreates ten different orchards, each one of which features typical trees of the archipelago. Each one flowers at a different time over the arc of the exposition so as to symbolize seasonality. At the center of the pavilion, a video is projected to represent farming in Bahrain, showing subjects ranging from traditional techniques to modern hydroponics.
The wooden structure is a succession of boxes alternating with open spaces, each of which contains two kiiks, or swings. Estonia is the country that invented the kiik, a device (some with two seats) used in competitions. These can be experienced at Expo Milano 2015, too: the swings are available to visitors, who can take the challenge, thanks to the counter above that measures the energy exerted. At five oscillations, the system recharges cell phone batteries, also available for visitors.
The Irish agriculture sector has voluntarily undergone a continuing third-party certification program on sustainability: each farm is checked every 18 months on traceability, quality control, food safety, water use, animal welfare and pasture maintenance. There are 90,000 evaluations of carbon footprint each year alone. This is the heart of the Green Origin program.
Made 70 percent from recyclable materials and with 50 percent covered in green, the Principality of Monaco Pavilion generates new points of view on the challenge of sustainable development. The roof of the structure is carpeted with vegetation. At the end of the Universal Exposition, the pavilion will be dismantled and rebuilt in Burkina Faso to hold the offices of the local Red Cross. In this pavilion, visitors can see an exhibit dedicated to sustainable development that deals with key subjects like the management of marine resources, forest management and human development.
Slovenia promotes awareness that each person can do something good for himself and for the planet. The visit to the pavilion begins with a vertical garden that controls magnesium and sulfate doses via a control unit. The first room educates visitors on Piran salt. This country produces the most magnesium-rich mineral water in the world with a specific amount of five minerals. The final exhibit tells of a Slovenian scientific project to measure air quality: in 2013, an ultralight plane flew over all the continents in 369 hours, measuring the concentration of black carbon in the atmosphere.
The Switzerland Pavilion allows visitors to reflect on the fact that food resources are available in limited quantities. The contents of the four towers (honey, water, coffee and salt) are completely available to visitors who reach the top of the pavilion. But a unique supply system is provided for foodstuffs: everyone can enjoy them, if everyone is responsible – a clear metaphor for the need to use the planet’s resources sustainably.
The offering of cuisine in this pavilion is another occasion to explain that, in this South American country, all cattle are origin tracked, raised under the open sky and grazed on natural pastures without using hormones or chemical treatments. The “smart farming” production is only one of four subjects explored in this pavilion. The others are renewable energy, education and human rights. The country proposes to achieve 95 percent use of renewable energy.