Expo 2015

"Milan Expo" redirects here. For the 1906 Expo, see Milan International (1906).
EXPO Milan 2015

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. It opened on May 1 at 10:00 CEST and closed on October 31.[1][2] Milan hosted an exposition for the second time; the first was the 1906 Milan International.

The International Exhibitions Bureau (BIE) general assembly in Paris decided in favour of Milan on March 31, 2008.[3] On November 23, 2010, the event was announced by the BIE.[4] Expo 2015's theme was "Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life".[5][6][7]


Expo 2015's theme was "Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life", encompassing technology, innovation, culture, traditions and creativity and how they relate to food and diet. The exposition developed themes introduced in earlier expos (such as water at Expo 2008 in Zaragoza) in light of new global scenarios and emerging issues, focusing on the right to healthy, secure and sufficient food for the world’s inhabitants. Futuristic concerns about food security are compounded by forecasts of increasing uncertainty about the quantity of food which will be available globally. The exposition had seven sub-themes:[8]


Large tree made of lights at night, surrounded by fountains
Albero della vita (Tree of Life)

The Expo 2015 site is 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 Fiera Milano fairgrounds, designed by Massimiliano Fuksas, which may be considered the cornerstone of the area's urban redevelopment. It had long been an industrial zone before its conversion 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 bicycle paths were never constructed, and several motorways were built (or expanded) to allow access to the site.

The area is oblong in shape with an overall length of nearly 3 km (1.9 mi), suggesting a boulevard along which the pavilions would be located. The design of pools and waterways in and around the Expo area was an element of primary importance.

Initial plan

Logo including Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man drawing
Expo 2015 bid logo

The initial plan had the following elements:

A 100-hectare (250-acre) service area was planned near the main Expo site with hotels, parking facilities, stores, a convention centre, green areas, a business centre available to Expo participants and a 12-hectare (30-acre) Expo Village to house staff, volunteers and security and administrative personnel.

The following thematic pavilions were also planned:


Vertical banner on a city street at night
Expo 2015 logo in Corso Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan

Expo 2015's concept 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 two avenues (a main and a secondary avenue), representing the ancient Roman layout of 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 across the main boulevard. The exhibition areas, identical for each country, recreated the typical food cycle of each nation from production to consumption. The centre of the avenue was occupied by a table in front of the country pavilions extending the length of the site, where visitors could sample foods produced in each country's pavilion. The area would be covered by large, tent-like structures to convey the idea of a global marketplace.

A second idea was to build large greenhouses on the site to reproduce the earth’s principal biomes. These would be thematic pavilions for the cultivation and production of basic foodstuffs used in the individual country pavilions. Each country would have a dedicated greenhouse in its exhibition area. In this version of the site, water remained an important element but was shifted toward the exterior as a large, navigable canal surrounding the site. A large lake was also included in the design. Additional elements included a large, excavated amphitheatre and a hill, one at each end of the boulevard; expo village facilities across the encircling canal from the site, and redevelopment of the post-office building as a centre for sustainable development.

Master plan

Expo entrance, with a central statue of a man on a horse
Expo gate in Piazza Castello

The master plan for Expo 2015, coordinated by Stefano Boeri, was delivered to the BIE during its April 30, 2010 registration ceremony in Paris. Changes included:


Expo participants included 145 countries, three international organizations and several civil society organizations, corporations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).[9] Participants were hosted in individual or grouped pavilions.


Expo replica passport, with "visa stamps" by participants
Expo passport

Each participating country was hosted in a self-constructed pavilion and included on the Expo website.[10] Some countries, such as Belarus,[11] Belgium,[12] Israel[13] and Germany,[14] created external websites. As part of a reciprocity protocol with Expo 2010 in Shanghai, on December 8, 2008 China was the first country to formalise its participation in Expo 2015. The first country outside the reciprocity protocol to confirm its participation was Switzerland, on February 3, 2011.[15] As in other years, during the Expo visitors could purchase a passport which could be stamped. The following countries participated:[16]

Nongovernmental organizations

International organizations



Plane in flight
An Etihad Airbus A330 aircraft, A6-EYH, in Expo 2015 and Alitalia livery

In preparation for Expo 2015, the City of Milan signed coordination agreements with other cities in Italy and Europe focusing on tourism, culture and infrastructure. Agreements were also been signed with other countries for the development of projects associated with food and education.


Official partners

Media partners

Global partners

Premium partners

Other partners


Smoky fire on a city street during a demonstration
Protest in Milan on the exposition's first day

Expo 2015's opening on May 1 was met with protests by a black bloc of anti-austerity activists, with police using tear gas.[122] Although Vatican City invested €3 million in its pavilion before Pope Francis' election, he said that it is good for the church is involved in causes which fight hunger and promote clean energy but too much money was wasted on the Expo by the Vatican.[123]


Several unusual (or unique) food choices were offered during the exposition, some normally not permitted in Italy. At Zimbabwe's pavilion, visitors could try burgers made from crocodile, zebra or python (named "crocoburger", "zebraburger" and "savanaburger" by their creator, consul Georges El Badaoui). The pavilion's food was some of the expo's most innovative and extravagant.[124][125][126] At the Japanese pavilion during the expo, European regulations were relaxed and it was possible to taste sashimi from pufferfish (fugu).[127] In the Future Food District were packs of canned insects, common in Southeast Asia but prohibited in the European Union.


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


Further information: Expo 2015 pavilions

See also


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  110. "Trenitalia/Official Global Rail Carrier" (in Italian).
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  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
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