Expo 2015

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"Milan Expo" redirects here. For the 1906 Expo, see Milan International (1906).
EXPO Milan 2015
Expo 2015 Logo.svg
official logo
BIE-class Universal exposition
Category International Registered Exhibition
Name Expo Milano 2015
Motto Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life
Area 200 hectares (490 acres)
Visitors 22.200.000
Countries 145
Organizations 17
Business 21
Country Italy
City Milan
Venue Milan-Rho
Coordinates 45°31′7″N 9°6′24″E / 45.51861°N 9.10667°E / 45.51861; 9.10667Coordinates: 45°31′7″N 9°6′24″E / 45.51861°N 9.10667°E / 45.51861; 9.10667
Awarded March 31, 2008 (2008-03-31)
Opening May 1, 2015 (2015-05-01)
Closure October 31, 2015 (2015-10-31)
Universal expositions
Previous Expo 2010 in Shanghai
Next Expo 2020 in Dubai
Specialized expositions
Previous Expo 2012 in Yeosu
Next Expo 2017 in Astana
Horticultural expositions
Previous Floriade 2012 in Venlo
Next Expo 2016 in Antalya
Website expo2015.org

Expo 2015 was a Universal Exposition hosted by Milan, Italy. The opening took place on May 1, 2015 at 10:00 CEST,and the Expo closed on October 31, 2015.[1][2] It was the second time Milan hosted the exposition. The first was the Milan International of 1906. On November 23, 2010, the event was officially announced by the International Exhibitions Bureau (BIE).[3] The BIE General Assembly in Paris decided in favour of the Milanese candidature on March 31, 2008.[4] Expo 2015 was held under the theme Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.[5][6][7][8]


The theme chosen for the 2015 Milan Universal Exposition was Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life. It embraced technology, innovation, culture, traditions and creativity and how they relate to food and diet. Expo 2015 further developed themes introduced in earlier Expos (e.g., water at Expo 2008 in Zaragoza) in the light of new global scenarios and emerging issues, with a principal focus on the right to healthy, secure and sufficient food for all the world’s inhabitants.

The concerns of many futurologists about the quality of food in the years to come are compounded by forecasts of increasing uncertainties regarding the quantities of food that will be available globally. These concerns, expressed early on in studies by MIT for the Club of Rome, were largely ignored at a time when it appeared that increases in resource availability would outstrip increases in consumption; however, the rapid depletion of agricultural surpluses has clearly manifested the urgency of the problem of how to Feed the Planet and prevent hunger.[citation needed]

Seven sub-themes[edit]

The exhibition included seven sub-themes:[9]

  • Science for Food Safety, Security and Quality
  • Innovation in the Agro Food Supply Chain
  • Technology for Agriculture and Biodiversity
  • Dietary Education
  • Solidarity and Cooperation on Food
  • Food for Better Lifestyles
  • Food in the World’s Cultures and Ethnic Groups

Bid history[edit]

On 30 October 2006, during the session of the General Assembly of member countries of the BIE, held at their headquarters in Paris, Kazakhstan announced its intention to participate in the bidding process to host the World Exhibition at Milan in 2015. The winning candidate was selected by the BIE on 31 March 2008 in Paris.[citation needed]

Candidate cities[edit]

The following cities bid to host Expo 2015:

City Country Theme Votes
Milan Italy Italy Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life 86
Izmir Turkey Turkey New routes to a better world / Health for all 65


Albero della vita (Tree of Life)
The Expo Gate in Piazza Castello in Milan

The area occupied by the Expo 2015 site is located about 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) northwest of Milan in the municipalities of Rho and Pero, and covers an area of 1.1 km2 (0.42 sq mi). It is adjacent to the new Fiera Milano fairgrounds, designed by Massimiliano Fuksas, whose project may be considered the cornerstone of the urban redevelopment of the entire area. The zone had long been an industrial area before being converted to logistical and municipal services and agriculture. The fairgrounds and the Expo site were connected by a pedestrian bridge adjacent to the Rho-Pero high-speed rail station. Originally planned cycle paths were never initiated, and it was impossible to arrive by bicycle. Several motorways were built or expanded to allow access to the site.

The chosen area is oblong in shape with an overall length of nearly 3 km (1.9 mi), immediately suggesting the idea of a main axis conceived as a boulevard along which the pavilions would be located. The design of pools and waterways in and around the Expo area has been an element of primary importance in the three phases.

The genesis of the Expo plan was a complex process which may be divided into three different phases: Initial plan, Concept plan and Master plan.

Initial plan[edit]

Expo 2015 bid logo

The initial plan was characterized by the following principal elements:

  • 50% of the area occupied by pavilions, 35% of the area dedicated to external spaces around each pavilion, and the remaining 15% comprised a green perimeter ring around the site;
  • Piazza Italia and Piazza Expo located at either end of the main boulevard. The former dominated by the 7,000-square-metre (1.7-acre) Italy pavilion and flanked by a second square dubbed Piazza delle Regioni;
  • A large artificial lake surrounded by the 20 pavilions representing the Italian regions;
  • A 12,000 seat amphitheatre covering 9,000 m2 (2.2 acres) and a 6,000 seat Auditorium of 6,000 m2 (1.5 acres);
  • Country pavilions in three different sizes depending on the financial resources of each participating country;
  • Three collective pavilions dedicated to three geographical areas: Asia, Africa and Latin America/Caribbean.

A services area was planned near the main Expo site covering some 100 hectares (250 acres) and outfitted with hotels, parking facilities, stores, a convention centre, green areas and a business centre available for use by Expo participants, as well as a 12 ha (30-acre) Expo village to house staff, volunteers, security personnel and administrative personnel.

Plans also called for the following thematic pavilions:

  • What the world eats: at the base of the Expo tower and in the pedestrian bridge connecting the Rho-Pero fairgrounds to the Expo site;
  • Science and conscience
  • Tales of land, air and water
  • The food spiral
  • The right to eat well
  • In the realm of the senses, in Piazza Italia;
  • Equilibrium
  • The art of food

Concept plan[edit]

The EXPO 2015 logo in Corso Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan

The concept plan for the Expo 2015 site was presented on September 8, 2009. It was designed by a committee of four architects: Stefano Boeri, Richard Burdett, Mark Rylander and Jacques Herzog.

The main idea was to trace out within the area two distinct lines of demarcation, two avenues, a main avenue and a secondary avenue representing the ancient Roman layout comprising a cardo and a decumanus. The initial idea of a “classical” site composed of avenues and pavilions was replaced by the idea of a “light” Expo composed of exhibition areas arranged transversally with respect to the main boulevard. The exhibition areas are completely identical for each country and recreate the typical “food cycle” of each nation, from production to consumption. The centre of the avenue is occupied by a table in front of the country pavilions and extending for the entire length of the site. Here visitors would be able to sample the foods produced in the pavilion of each country. The entire area would be covered by large tent-like structures to convey the idea of a global marketplace.

A second idea was to build large bioclimatic greenhouses on the site to reproduce the earth’s principal environment types or biomes. These would function both as thematic pavilions and for the cultivation and production of basic foodstuffs used in the individual country pavilions. Each country would also be able to have a dedicated greenhouse within its specific exhibition area.

In this second version of the Expo site, water remained an important element but was shifted toward the exterior, no longer arranged in canals flowing through the pavilions, but as a large navigable canal surrounding the Expo site. A large lake was also included in the design.

Additional characteristic elements included:

  • A large excavated amphitheatre and a hill, one at either end of the boulevard;
  • Expo village facilities across the encircling canal from the Expo site;
  • Redevelopment of the post office building as a Centre for Sustainable Development.

Master plan[edit]

The final master plan for the Expo site was delivered to the BIE during the registration ceremony of Expo Milan 2015 in Paris on April 30, 2010.

The final plan that was submitted to the BIE for approval was coordinated by Stefano Boeri. Currently available information suggests that the plan does not contradict the main ideas of the concept plan while adapting to the more classic exhibition standards of events of this type:

  • The idea is abandoned of providing equal amounts of space for each exhibiting country; each will have the opportunity to rent areas ranging from 400 to 6,000 m2 (4,300 to 64,600 sq ft);
  • The buildable areas are reduced to 30% of the area assigned to each exhibitor;
  • The large, but not navigable, canal around the area is maintained;
  • The tent roofing remains only along the principal axes of the cardo and the decumanus;
  • The greenhouses will be concentrated in a single zone measuring 50,000 m2 (12 acres);
  • The circular basin present in the concept plan is transformed into a theatre on the water, with performances and shows on a centrally placed stage;
  • The new plan includes, at either end of the site, the large open-air amphitheatre and the green hill created with the earth from the amphitheatre excavation;
  • An auditorium is included.


Participants to the Expo include 145 countries, three international organizations, several civil society organizations, several corporations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).[10] The participants are hosted inside individual or grouped pavilions.

Country participation[edit]

Passport of Expo 2015 Milan

Each of the 145 participating countries is hosted in a self-built pavilion and is represented on the official Expo website.[11] Some countries, such as Belarus,[12] Belgium,[13] Israel,[14] or Germany,[15] have created additional external websites. As part of the reciprocity protocol with Expo 2010 of Shanghai, on December 8, 2008, China was the first country to formalize its participation in Expo Milan 2015. The first country out of the reciprocity protocol to confirm its participation was Switzerland on February 3, 2011.[16] As with other years, during this Expo visitors could purchase a passport onto which passport stamps could be placed.

The list of the participating countries is given below:[17]

Collaboration agreements[edit]

An Etihad Airbus A330 aircraft, A6-EYH, painted in the Expo 2015 and Alitalia livery.

In preparation for the upcoming event, the City of Milan has signed numerous collaboration agreements with other cities in Italy and Europe in order to coordinate initiatives united by the common denominator of Expo 2015. These agreements focus principally on tourism, culture and infrastructure.

Agreements have also been signed with various countries around the world for the development of specific projects associated with food and education.



A protest in Milan during the first day of the exhibition

The opening of the Expo on 1 May 2015 was met with protest from anti-austerity activists, black bloc, and anarchists, who caused criminal damage, resulting in the police using tear gas.[122]

As Vatican City invested €3 million to obtain its own pavilion at the event before his appointment to the papacy, Francis said that, although it is a good thing that the Church is involved in causes that battle hunger and promote cleaner energy, he stated that too much money was wasted on the Expo itself by Vatican City.[123]


Several unusual or unique food choices were offered during the exposition, some of them normally not permitted in Italy. At the pavilion of Zimbabwe, visitors were welcome to try burgers made from the meat of crocodile, zebra and Python, respectively named: "crocoburger", "zebraburger" and "savanaburger" by their creator Georges El Badaoui, Consul for the African country. The Pavilion of Zimbabwe remained among the most innovative and extravagant in terms of food proposals.[124][125][126] At the Japanese pavilion, assuming a derogation of the European regulations, and in very exceptional case only for the period of Expo 2015, it was possible to taste the sashimi of pufferfish (fugu).[127] Inside the Future Food District were packs of canned insects, very common in Southeast Asia, but prohibited within the territory of the European Union.


During the event the "World Cup Expo" a football tournament of mixed teams composed of workers from individual pavilions or clusters was held.[128]


For more information see Expo 2015 pavilions

See also[edit]


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  123. ^ "Papa Francesco si arrabbia per i soldi spesi dal Vaticano per l’Expo" [Pope Francis angered by the money spent by the Vatican on the Expo]. Diretta News (in Italian). 27 April 2015. Retrieved 2 May 2015. 
  124. ^ After the Crocoburger, at Expo arrived the Zebraburger
  125. ^ Expo, After the Crocoburger, the Zebraburger, at the Zimbabwe Pavilion
  126. ^ Zimbabwe, dopo lo zebraburger ecco il panino imbottito al pitone
  127. ^ Il sashimi di pesce palla al padiglione giapponese
  128. ^ Pagina facebook dei mondiali di Expo

External links[edit]