Milan Expo 2015

Expo Milano 2015
Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life

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Quick List Info

Milan Expo 2015 Promo Book

Dates Open - May 1 to October 31, 2015. 184 days.

Attendance - 21,500,000 to 22,200,000 total visitors, depending on source.

International Participants - 145 nations and 17 international organizations.

Total Cost - $1.46 billion (estimated). By opening day that estimate had grown to $1.64 billion capital expenditures and $896 million operating costs. $1.23 billion estimated for international participants.

Site Acreage - 273 acres (110 hectares). Some sources list a larger site at 490 acres, which likely included ancillary areas.

Sanction and Type - Sanctioned by the Bureau of International Exhibitions on March 31, 2008 as a Universal scale Registered Expo.

Ticket Cost - Adult, Open Date - 39 euros ($43.68); Fixed Date 34 euros. Children 14-25, Open Date 33 euros ($36.96), 29 euros. Season Ticket - Adult 115 euros, Senior/Student 89 euros, Child 57 euros.

Photo top center: China Pavilion, 2015, Expo 2015 Pinterest Page, Archilovers. Column Top: Expo 2015 Promo Guide, 2015, Courtesy Pinterest. Column Below: Expo Bid Logo, 2015, Expo Authority. Courtesy Wikipedia Commons.

Expo 2015 Logo

Other Histories of World's Fairs to Check Out

History of the Event

Expo 2015

It was an expo dominated by theme and international participation with less emphasis on the commercial companies that had made such a big impression on recent world's fairs. So Milan, an expo veteran from its own exposition in 1906, but even more so due to the Milan Triennial, a periodic art and design exposition often held every three years since 1933 in the city. The theme, Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life, held important components for all nations, and solutions to those challenges were discussed in the theme pavilions as well as the participants. The expo was held nine miles north of the city near the Fiera Milano fairgrounds. Many international participants constructed their own pavilions, with some in clusters around certain topics, a slight change from many on the five years of the decade events of the registered sanction from the Bureau of International Expositions. And while it was not as large as the massive Shanghai Expo 2010, Expo 2015 in Milano met many of its expo goals, drawing over twenty-two million people (above the estimated twenty million visitors) to the northern Italian city of over nine million residents.

There were five theme areas to the site: Pavilion Zero, which tackled the theme from a United Nations perspective; Parco Biodiversita with green and garden exhibits showing agro-biodiversity; Future Food District; Art and Food; and the Children's Park, which focused on Man, Nature, and Animals.

Above photo. Tree of Life designed by Marco Balich, 2015, Mattiaverga via Pixabay. Below: Digital Screens at Expo 2015, 2015, VCO24 via Pixabay.

Digital Screens, Expo 2015

There was controversy about the project. Cost overruns, a lack of knowing if a buyer for the site would come through, and three new road projects at high cost plagued some of the press coverage, but the overall impression of the event, its theme, and the five thousand performances overcame most of that criticism during the run. With two years of planning to win the bid, and seven years to build the fair, the Expo Authority managed to create a unique expo, with cluster topics around the Bio-Mediterranean, Coffee, Chocolate, Cereal, Fruits, Cluster Islands Sea and Food, Rice, Spice, and Cluster Zone Aride. Not many, actual no, other World's Fairs could say that.

The corporate pavilions were less numerous, with major contributions by China Corporate United Pavilion, Coca-Cola, Joomoo, New Holland Agriculture, and Vanke. The Tree of Life theme structure was the most popular element of the fair with over fourteen million visitors to its show.

News Headlines

"Milan Expo 2015: what's the point?" - London Telegraph, May 1, 2015. Article focused on whether the money would have been better spent on other social items, but moves to saying that the project is ambitious and should be visited.

"Expo 2015: what does Milan gain by hosting this bloated global extravaganza?" - The Guardian, May 12, 2015. Article criticizing the event before opening.

"Milan's Expo 2015 Finds Success, but With a Muddled Message" - New York Times, August 15, 2015. Article provides a straight forward assessment of the fun and problems at the expo. Writer enjoys the Japan pavilion.

BIE Universal Expo

Expo 2015 USA Pavilion

International Participants

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Republic of the Congo, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Holy See, Honduras, Hungary, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Lithuania, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mauritania, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Nepal, Netherlands, Oman, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, South Korea (as Republic of Korea), Spain, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

International Organizations - CERN, European Union, United Nations, ActionAid, Cesvi, Amity University, Andrea Bocelli Foundation, Caritas Internationalis, Cibus-Federalimentare, Don Bosco Network, Fairtrade International, Fondazione Triulza, KIP International School, Lions Clubs International, National Observatory for Women's Health, Oxfam International, Save the Children, Venerable Factory of the Duomo of Milan, WAA-AMIA/CONAF, World Wide Fund for Nature.

Teepossible T-Shirts and Gifts

Expo Tidbits
Exhibition "La Cas dell Identita Italiana" was visited by two million people.

Fourteen million people attended the Tree of Life show. The tree was photographed 250,000 times and uploaded to Instagram.

Sixty Heads of State and Government visited the exhibition.

Over one hundred fifty restaurants, bars, and food kiosks on site.

Palazzo Italia, in center of site, to remain in the post-Expo period, with the Italy Pavilion, Pavilion Zero, and the Tree of Life also remaining. In 2016, the area opened as EXPperience with additional attractions in what is called the MIND, ie Milano Innovation District. Remainder of plans still taking shape as to what legacies will remain as new plans for projects in the area take shape.

Those in Charge

Commissioner General Diana Bracco. Architectural concepts for the site designed by Stefano Boeri, Richard Burdett, Mark Rylander and Jacques Herzog.

Ecuador Pavilion at Expo 2015

Sources:; Wikipedia Commons;; CNBC; Forbes; New York Times;

Photo column top: USA Pavilion at Expo 2015, 2015, Courtesy Expo 2015 Pinterest. Bottom: Ecuador Pavilion, 2015, Courtesy Expo 2015 Pinterest.

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