Until October 31st the Universal Exposition in Milan is presenting ‘Feed the planet, Energy for life’. Food: what a great theme for a country known worldwide for their cuisine!
Urban agriculture is a common theme and one which Austria has displayed brilliantly. However the exhibition that I found particularly inspiring was a simple one: Since the beginning of the Expo in May, visitors are invited to plant herbs, vegetables and fruits, which are then harvested throughout the expo. Genius!
Many other aspects of urban agriculture are also highlighted by Austria, such as: rainwater recovery, respecting certain energy standards, air quality, etc. The Austrian pavilion has an abundant collection of native plants, which themselves produce enough oxygen to support 18,000 people for an hour. Awesome!
My personal favorite is the Italian exhibition, winner of the Expo’s international competition. Their project was developed around the base concepts of transparency, energy, water, nature and technology. The four blocks of the pavilion have the appearance of an urban forest in which visitors discover striking views on a tree with a photovoltaic glass roof. During the visit one ascends through four exposure levels up to a panoramic terrace.
This permanent structure is clad in patented "Biodynamic" panels. When its photocatalytic properties come in contact with sunlight it captures surrounding air pollutants and converts them into inert salts, reducing smog levels.
A truly fascinating innovation!
If you’d like to learn more about the Expo Milano 2015, check out their website at: http://www.expo2015.org/en