1 Second International Conference on Mega-events and the City April, 2014 Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) Article for the thematic session AT3. Coalitions, scales and actors Expo 2015: governance, projects and potential legacies for the Milan metropolitan region Keywords: Milan Expo 2015; governance; post-event legacy Authors: Giuliana Costa (Assistant Professor at Politecnico di Milano, Dipartimento di Architettura e Studi Urbani) and Stefano Di Vita (Research Fellowship at Politecnico di Milano, Dipartimento di Architettura e Studi Urbani) Table of contents 1. Mega-events and the global cities 2. The official Expo 2015: top down governance and plans 3. Outside the official Expo 2015: bottom up proposals 4. First attempts of assessment: from the Expo 2015 to the Milan metropolitan region
2 1. Mega-events and the global cities World class events such as the Olympic Games and the Universal and International Expositions have been an opportunity to promote spatial innovation and growth of fordist metropolis and societies since the second half of the Nineteenth Century. At their origins, mega-events had expressed the industrial and modernist culture by aiming at celebrating the scientific and technological advances in the field of national productions and by influencing the urban development of the host cities through the experimentation of new technological and morpho-typological solutions within their dedicated areas (Caramellino, De Magistris, De Ambrosis, 2013). In that way, mega-events contributed to increase the pride of citizens, their familiarity with the industrial innovations and their belonging sense to the industrial society (Roche, 2000). From the Nineties of the Twentieth Century, the development of a global service economy and society changed the meaning of large events: in parallel to their increasing gigantism and proliferation, they have driven the implementation of large urban change interventions, whose final goal is the consolidation of the host city brand and rank in the post-industrial urban transition within the currently raising global city networks (Di Vita, 2014). After the bankruptcy experience of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens and the outbreak of the 2008 global crisis (in particular in mature capitalist economy countries), the association between mega-events and the urban development cannot be taken for granted anymore. As a matter of fact, many cities currently involved in large event processes, such as Milan towards the Expo 2015, have to face many economic, social and spatial problems. The risks of economic, social and environmental unsustainability of mega-events are recognized both by scholars and policy makers (Costa 2013) along with their positive potential outcomes. Potentialities can be, among others, identified with the development of innovative and sustainable solutions for urban mobility and accessibility; the regeneration of polluted soils and water; the enhancement of local landscape resources; the innovation of building techniques; the growth of tourism and of cultural activities; the boosting of the building sector; the development of new urban functions connected to global networks; the regeneration of brownfields and degraded urban districts; the increase of collective facilities and public spaces; the capacity building processes among public and private actors supported by cooperation and expertise development. At the same time, negative impacts of mega-events can be recognized in the lacking integration between event sites, new urban functions and the local context; the increasing urban congestion and imbalance; the difficult reuse of event sites and transport infrastructures; the increase in soil consumption and in pollutant emissions; the contrasts between ordinary procedures and powers and exceptional and authoritarian ones; the lack of significant and lasting economic benefits for the hosting cities
3 and countries (because of the increasing public debt or the real estate speculation) and for the local populations, particularly the vulnerable groups (Costa 2013). Given this general context, the article focuses on the complex top down governance processes that are paving the way to Milan Expo 2015, as well as on some significant bottom up projects and dynamics expressed by different stakeholders that are not officially part of the official event network, but whose intense and spontaneous activism is stimulating a deep and unusual civic and social debate around the event. We will first of all illustrate the governance system that has been implemented from the candidature of Milan to the current executive phase. We will then present some interesting projects that are part of an innovative way of coping with the complexity of the Expo 2015, as well as an opportunity to create positive legacies. In the last part of the article we will comment some critical aspects of the upcoming Milanese event, conscious that it constitutes a very first attempt that need more research to be fully accredited. 2. The official Expo 2015: top down governance and plans Expo 2015 is scheduled from May 1 to October 31, involves 147 countries (May 2014) and is expected to attract 20 million visitors. It will explore the complex theme Feeding the planet, energy for life and it will be hosted in a dedicated site that is under construction near the recent Milan Trade Fair pole, along the North-Western margin of the Milan Municipality. The bidding phase ( ) was promoted by the Bid Committee for Milan Expo 2015, formed by the Milan Municipal Administration, the Milan Provincial Administration, the Lombardy Regional Government, the Milan Chamber of Commerce and the Milan Trade Fair Foundation, with the approval of the Italian National Government (Figs ). Political convergence and collaboration between right parties (Milan Municipal Administration and Lombardy Regional Government) and left parties (Milan Provincial Administration and Italian National Government) was at that time and for this special occasion full and, consequently, successful.
4 First/original application dossier, 2006 (Source: Bid Committee for Milan Expo 2015) Fig. 01, the Expo Site Masterplan, 2006 Proposal (area: 170 hectares; project: Comune di Milano, Settore Progetti Strategici) Second/final application dossier, 2007 (Source: Bid Committee for Milan Expo 2015) Fig. 02, the Landway and Waterway concept, 2006 Proposal: two soft mobility corridors from the Expo Site to the Milan historical center Fig. 03, the Expo Site Masterplan, 2007 Proposal (area: 120 hectares; project: Agenzia di Architettura 5+1AA)
5 Fig. 04, the Landway development, 2007 Proposal: a cycle-path through the main urban poles Fig. 05, the Waterway development, 2007 Proposal: a navigable canal through the metropolitan parks along the N-W urban margins Fig. 06, the development of the Milan railway hub and underground network, 2007 Proposal
6 Fig. 07, the development of the road accessibility to the Expo site, 2007 Proposal Milan contended the international competition with the Turkish city of Izmir: in March 2008, after the Expo 2015 assignment to Milan by the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), the definitive event planning began, starting from the establishment of the governance articulation. Unfortunately, a long and conflictual discussion between the Milan Expo original promoters delayed the starting of the process in an apparently favorable context of right parties hegemony to all the government levels (national, regional, provincial and municipal). The event governance was finally established through a National Decree approved by the Italian Government in October 2008, then lightly modified by another National Decree approved in May It can be described as follows: the Commissario Unico, substituting the previous Commissario Generale and Commissario Straordinario, who has extraordinary powers and functions in order to implement the Expo projects, also in derogation of existing laws; the Commissione di Coordinamento per le attività connesse all Expo (COEM), that is a political event co-ordination between the National Government, the Commissario Unico and other local authorities (Milan Municipal Administration, Milan Provincial Administration and Lombardy Regional Government) the Expo 2015 Spa management company, established by the Italian Government, Ministry of Economy and Finance (40%), the Lombardy Regional Government (20%), the Milan Municipal Administration (20%), the Milan Provincial Administration (10%) and the Milan Chamber of Commerce (10%), that is responsible for the Expo Site planning and construction and the event organization and management;
7 the Tavolo Lombardia, that is directed by the Lombardy Regional Government and is oriented to co-ordinate the development and implementation of urban and regional transports in order to improve the event accessibility. Within this governance framework, an extraordinary planning tool system has been set up for the event, covering different scales of action: at the Expo Site level, the Accordo di Programma 1 Expo 2015 (activated in October 2008 and approved in June 2011), promoted by the Milan Municipal Administration with the Rho Municipal Administration, the Milan Provincial Administration, the Lombardy Regional Government and Poste Italiane Spa, oriented to the development of the Exhibition Area (which covers two different municipalities, Rho and Milan, and requires to change the regulations of the existing urban plans); at the urban level, the City Operation Plan (activated in June 2012 and now being developed), promoted by the Milan Municipal Administration, which aim is to organize the city for the Exposition by coordinating interventions belonging to 15 different thematic areas (mobility; tourism; environment; administrative procedures; periurban agriculture; education; culture; youth; communications; international relationships; urban quality; safety; marketing; health; technology); at the regional level, the Accordo Quadro di Sviluppo Territoriale 2 Expo 2015 (activated in October 2008 but never developed nor concluded) promoted by the Lombardy Regional Government and aimed at coordinating existing projects within the regional area with the official Expo plans. The definitive event planning has been developed on the basis of a Conceptual Masterplan drawn up and presented in September 2009 by the so-called Consulta degli Architetti per Milano Expo , officially charged of defining the guidelines of the event spatial projects: considering the reduction in the originally foreseen funding, which was caused by the economic crisis in the meantime begun, they have promoted the transformation of the original projects, proposed during the bidding phase (Figs ), reducing the total amount of building surface and defining a new version of the Expo Site and the Water Way projects according to the event theme related to food and nutrition (Figs ). On the basis of this concept, the Planning Bureau established within the Expo 2015 Spa management company 1 Translating, a Program Agreement, that is an administrative agreement regulated by the Italian National Decree n 267/ Translating, a Framework Agreement for Territorial Development, that is a tool of negotiated programming regulated by the Lombardy Regional Law n 2/ Composed by Stefano Boeri, Richard Burdett, Joan Busquet, Jaques Herzog and William McDonough.
8 has elaborated the definitive version of the projects, definitely approved and registered by the BIE in November 2010 (the so-called Registration Masterplan, Figs ). Conceptual Masterplan, 2009 (Source: Expo 2015 Spa) Fig. 08, the transformation of the Expo Site Masterplan into a global vegetable garden project (area: 100 hectares; project: Consulta degli Architetti) Fig. 09, the Water Way evolution into a wider landscape regeneration plan for the North-Western margin of the Milan metropolitan area (cycle-paths, canals, open spaces, farms)
9 Registration Masterplan, (Source: Expo 2015 Spa) Fig. 10, the 2010 Expo Site Registration Masterplan, 2013 executive version (area: 90 hectares; project: Expo 2015 Spa) Fig. 11, the 2010 Water Way Registration Masterplan, 2013 executive version The Expo official projects, activated after the event assignment to the city, include not only the Expo Site and the Water Way 4, but also a system of transport infrastructures at the regional scale (Fig. 12): new highways (called BreBeMi, Pedemontana and Teem) and two new underground lines (M4 and M5, Fig. 06). On the one hand, the interventions directed by the Expo 2015 Spa management company are: the Expo site (with its infrastructures, services, clusters, thematic pavilions, bridges); the Water Way; 4 The Land Way was deleted in 2010 because of the event funding reduction.
10 the interventions connected to the Italian participation within the Expo Site (the Italian and Regional pavilions). On the other hand, the interventions co-ordinated by Tavolo Lombardia and managed by different local authorities are: transports essential projects foreseen by the Application Dossier (managed by Infrastrutture Lombarde and Metropolitana Milanese); transports connected projects foreseen by the Application Dossier (managed by the Milan Municipal Administration; the Milan Provincial Administration; the Ministry of Infrastructures and Transports of the Italian Government; Consorzio Autostrade Lombarde; Ferrovie Nord; Rete Ferroviaria Italiana; SEA Aeroporti di Milano); transports necessary projects not foreseen by the Application Dossier (managed by the Milan Municipal Administration; the Milan Provincial Administration; the Lombardy Regional Government; the Ministry of Infrastructures and Transports of the Italian Government; ANAS; Ferrovie Nord; Rete Ferroviaria Italiana). Fig. 12, the intervention system directed by the Expo 2015 Spa management company and the ones co-ordinated by Tavolo Lombardia within the Milan metropolitan region (Source: Di Vita, 2014)
11 Within the top down event governance, other initiatives have been launched, such as the Expo Smart City, the Expo Clusters and the Expo Working Groups (described in the following paragraphs) which have involved other several stakeholders in the official event organization. On the one hand, according to the official communications, in order to increase the event attractiveness for foreign countries and investors, the event theme related to food and nutrition and the global vegetable garden concept for the Expo Site have been integrated by the Expo 2015 Spa management company with a Expo Smart City proposal articulated into three different levels: the Digital Smart City Expo project, aimed at developing digital services for the exhibition area management (in the fields of energy, lighting and security) and for the reception of visitors within the Expo Site (information, communication and payment services); the E015 Digital Ecosystem project, aimed at developing digital services for the reception of visitors within the whole Milan metropolitan region (in the fields of culture, news and events, Expo 2015 itself, info-mobility, Made in Italy, accommodation and catering) towards both the event and the post-event; the Cyber Expo project, aimed at developing digital services for a virtual experience of the event and the worldwide Expo promotion and visitors attraction. Within these projects, the E015 Digital Ecosystem is particularly interesting: it is a digital platform for sharing and integrating web sites, apps for smartphones and multimedia totems of both public and private operators, aiming at providing data and services to attract visitors and to offer them assistance during their stay. This initiative has been promoted by the Expo 2015 Spa management company with the Milan Chamber of Commerce, Confindustria, Assolombarda, Confcommercio and Unione del Commercio and it has been developed through the technical and scientific co-ordination by CEFRIEL-Politecnico di Milano. The platform is based on a free on-line subscription of an adhesion contract, on the sharing of technology standards and on the reference to common rules of collaboration, favoring the overcoming of the fragmentation that generally characterizes the worldwide smart city projects 5. At the same time, this initiative has the capacity to involve other stakeholders and 5 In particular, services and applications are oriented to make their information contents available to other websites and apps and, at the same time, to use the information contents provided by other websites and apps.
12 skills within the Expo process at the metropolitan region scale, thus overcoming the rigidity of the traditional administrative city boundaries 6. On the other hand, within the exhibition area, the Expo Cluster project represents an opportunity of international cooperation and collaboration: it aims at designing and organizing a system of collective pavilions within the Expo Site, where the acceding countries are grouped according to geographic identities (such as, Bio-Mediterranean, Islands, Arid Areas) or to some food chains (such as, Fruits and legumes, Spices, Rice, Cocoa, Coffee, Cereals and tubers) in which the general Expo theme Feeding the planet, energy for life is declined (Fig. 13). The original concepts of these collective pavilions have been conceived and designed through the so-called Cluster International Workshop organized by Expo 2015 Spa together with Politecnico di Milano: an architectural workshop that involved students, tutors and professors coming from 18 different national and international universities (Fig. 14). The Expo Cluster project (Source: website org) Fig. 13, the Expo Clusters: identity issues and food chains 6 Till May 2014, the members of the platform are 122 (both public and private). The applications for smartphones until now integrated within the platform are Milanoserravalle/Milanotangenziali and Infoblu (info-traffic), Trenitalia (national railways), Trenord (regional railways), ATM (Milan public transport agency) and SEA (Milan airports agency). At the same time, the web services until now integrated within the platform are: in the field of culture, the Regione Lombardia and Leonard s websites; in the field of news and events, the FieraMilano, Leonard s and VaxIta websites; the Expo 2015 website; in the field of info-mobility, the ATM, Autostradale, Orio al Serio International Airport, SEA Milan Airports, Infoblu, Radio Traffic, Trenitalia, Trenord, Regione Lombardia, FieraMilano and Milanoserravalle / Milanotangenziali websites; in the field of Made in Italy, the Unindustria Como website; in the field of accommodation, the Regione Lombardia and VaxIta websites; in the field of catering, the Regione Lombardia and Il Mangelo websites. (Source: website
13 Fig. 14, the Expo Cluster International Workshop network Outside the exhibition area, Promos (an agency within the Milan Chamber of Commerce) is promoting a system of thematic Expo Working Groups concerning the following fields: hospitality and accommodation; energy and environment; credit services; agriculture and food; health; art and culture; solidarity and non-profit activities; youth and work. The challenge of this initiative is the stimulation of local enterprises to promote innovative projects and businesses which could make a contribution to broaden and strengthen the event legacy, both in time and space. The latest initiative of collective participation and involvement, officially activated in relation to the Expo 2015, regards the transformation and reuse planning of the Expo Site after the event conclusion. Only in 2011, after the final resolution of a three years long conflict between the Milan Municipal Administration and the Lombardy Regional Government (both administered by the right parties!) about the regime of the areas within the Expo site (at the origin, mainly private!), a post-event management company was established: Arexpo Spa, formed by the Milan Municipal Administration (34, 67%), the Lombardy Regional Government (34,67%), the Milan Trade Fair Foundation (27,66%), the Milan Provincial Administration (2%) and the Rho Municipal Administration (1%), with the goals of purchasing the Expo Site areas, their temporary concession to the Expo 2015 Spa management company for the event celebration and, after its conclusion, their post-event enhancement and urban development. On the basis of the already mentioned Accordo di Programma Expo 2015, a preliminary masterplan (Figs ) was elaborated starting from 15 different proposals presented for a previous interest expression call (launched in May 2013) and was presented in November Despite the doubts about the real estate development project originally planned,
14 recently worsened by accepting the proposal of a new football stadium construction 7, in the second half of 2014 a new call will enable to identify the final promoter and developer. Arexpo preliminary masterplan, 2013 (Source: Arexpo Spa) Fig. 15, the Expo Site preliminary post-event framework: map of the Expo permanent buildings and of the lots cleared by the demolition of the temporary event pavilions Fig. 16, the Expo Site preliminary post-event masterplan (area: 90 hectares; project: Arexpo Spa): the stadium and the other building areas (in purple) and the large urban park (in green) 3. Outside the official Expo 2015: bottom up proposals Approaching May 2015, the number of large and small, official or independent initiatives related to the Milan Universal Exhibition, is growing. Two of the most significant bottom up projects developed by actors that do not belong to the official governance system, are 7 See chapter 4.
15 presented below: the Widespread and Sustainable Expo and the Foundation Cascina Triulza. These projects are characterized by different origins, goals and scale levels, but all of them are trying to work on the event in order to turn it as an opportunity for a long-term regeneration of the wider Milan metropolitan region and to build positive social and economic legacies. The Widespread and Sustainable Expo is a research project developed by Politecnico di Milano. It has led to the development of an experimental e-participation website (Fig. 17) 8 in order to connect and integrate top down and bottom up local sustainable proposals towards the Expo and, consequently, to identify a macro-regional strategic scenario for both the event and the post-event phases. In particular, these proposals refer to projects and places which could host cultural and agricultural activities, right budget accommodation and leisure time facilities, or other innovative businesses connected to the Expo theme and, in general, to the sustainable development goals, not only for the event, but above all with a long term and wider area perspective (Battisti et al., 2011). These places and projects are mainly identified within the existing resource system and they are located in the whole Milan metropolitan region and along the main existing infrastructural corridors (Fig. 18). Widespread and Sustainable Expo (source: polimi.it) Fig. 17, the home page Widespread and Sustainable Expo e- participation website, which aims at favoring the participation of different actors, places and projects to a new and sustainable macroregional strategic scenario development 8 Website:
16 Fig. 18, a Widespread and Sustainable Expo detailed map, showing the relationships of projects, places and existing infrastructural corridors The second interesting project that could produce positive legacies attached to the Expo 2015 is the Foundation Cascina Triulza, created to manage a building that was used to be a farm (the so-called Cascina Triulza) within the Expo Site and that will host the Civil Society Pavilion during the exhibition (Fig. 19). As a matter of fact, the event participation of the civil society in the same way as countries or companies is quite innovative in the history of Universal Expositions. The original farm has been assigned to the above mentioned Foundation, established in 2013 by 40 social associations and by the Exponiamoci association (in its turn, composed by other 18 entities): this existing building is going to be enhanced as a hub for NGOs activities and exhibitions (selected through specific and international calls) in order both to promote the participation of national and international civil society associations to the Expo 2015 and to make a contribution to a widespread and socially sustainable exhibition 9. One of the most important elements to point out is that the Foundation and its assets will be maintained and fostered by the civil society actors also after the exhibition, which was a precondition to their participation to the event (Costa 2014). According to many observers, the possibility to share a space as the Cascina Triulza to develop common initiatives, as well as the construction of joint programs, constitute a great opportunity for the third sector in Lombardy. Moreover, the Foundation is working on the immaterial legacy of Expo 2015, putting it finally on the local public agenda. For example, 9 Website:
17 accessibility issues for disabled persons are being discussed and addressed in order to increase the whole city capacity to host people with special needs, and not only the exposition site one. Foundation Cascina Triulza (source: triulza.org) Fig. 19, the old farm Cascina Triulza, that will host the Civil Society Pavilion within the Expo Site Nevertheless, within these and other bottom up actions and projects, some conflictual positions can be recognized, starting from the instances supported by environmental associations: in particular, they have contested a high level of artificiality within the Water Way project and the consequent damages to the landscape and environment quality of parks and open spaces crossed by this new infrastructure, resulting in the suspension of the work sector under discussion (Di Vita, 2014). 4. First attempts of assessment: from the Expo 2015 to the Milan metropolitan region Expo 2015, as many other mega-events around the world, is creating opportunities but also criticalities for Milan and its metropolitan region. There is a very modest literature on the possible impacts that it will produce in spatial, economic and social terms (Costa 2014), but we can try to identify some critical aspects that are already visible and some extent acknowledged, as well as some strengths in the long way to the event preparation. Critical aspects can be identified in terms of governance processes as well as to what concerns spatial, economic and social choices and outcomes. Among the first we can identify: the lack of an overall and shared urban and regional vision related to the Universal Exhibition, which have been defined only after the 2008 event assignment (2012 Milan urban plan, 2014 Milan provincial plan, 2010 Lombardy regional plan); the application of the
18 Strategic Environmental Assessment process required by the Lombardy Regional Law 10 only after the assignment of the event to the city, that is after (and not before) the selection of the areas for the Expo Site; the severe delays in the event planning and execution, due to several design changes and organizational difficulties (such as, the political conflicts related to the establishment of the event management company and to the identification of solutions to the Expo Site ownership); the delays in the defining of post-event strategies and plans, which started to be developed only in 2013; the uncertainty of the post-event reuse plan, based on real estate pre-crisis economic and social features on which the Accordo di Programma Expo 2015 has been planned; last but not least, the multiplication of extraordinary emergency procedures which has not enabled an effective planning and lead to huge corruption phenomena (Di Vita, 2014). As a matter of fact, the instauration of a continuous and pervasive state of exception system (Agamben 2005, Vainer 2010, Costa 2013 and 2014) risks, at the moment, to shed a very dark light on the whole event. Other critical aspects are related to spatial dynamics enacted by the event policies and choices, such as: the new urban enclave formed by the Expo Site and its location in an originally agricultural area, that will be urbanized in contradiction with the event theme; huge investments in road transportation system (6.668 million in 2007) instead that in rail ones (3.511 million in 2007), in an area that is already infrastructured for cars mobility; the decrease of the available economic resources due to the global financial and economic crisis (for instance, for the only Expo 2015 Spa investments, the decrease from million in 2007 to million in 2013); the consequent deletion of important urban and regional projects, useful to guarantee the Expo accessibility and to integrate the event to the local area; the redefinition of these important infrastructural projects without assessing the impacts of their partial execution on the event effectiveness; the risks of real estate speculation within the projects induced by the event and during the post-event transformation (Di Vita, 2014). In addition to this critical issues, many observers point out that the expectations related to Expo 2015 in terms of tourist attractions, business development and occupational positive outcomes are too ambitious and that the opportunity costs of the whole event are too high. They also criticize the fact that Milan is investing too much on the event without fully using the event to boost the local economy as well as draining resources that should be devoted to more social oriented purposes (Costa, Cucca and Torri 2015). The antagonistic movements furthermore claims that the realization of the event is merely speculative and that it will only bring more cement, more precariousness and more social inequalities to the city (Off Topic and Maggioni 2013). 10 Legge Regionale 11 marzo 2005, n 12.
19 Along with these weaknesses, several strengths can nevertheless be identified: first of all, the choice of focusing on food, nutrition and energy for life, which are potentially among the most important and strategic themes for the future of our planet and its population. From the planning point of view, we identify some specific positive aspects, such as: the attempt to decline the event theme within the 2009 Conceptual Masterplan (the so-called and already mentioned global vegetable garden); the choice to locate the Expo Site near the Milan Trade Fair, in a suburban area characterized by high accessibility, orienting the event towards a metropolitan region context; the integration of the Expo Site with the soft mobility Water Way plan (although recently criticized by environmental associations) and other infrastructural interventions; the innovative experimentation and implementation of ICT based services, which will make a contribution to both a spatial and digital legacy of the event, that goes beyond the Milan municipal boarders; the goals aimed by Arexpo Spa for the Expo Site transformation and reuse after the event conclusion, such as the fast post reuse perspective and guidelines, as well as the proposals of innovation in building products (for instance, the experimentation with green technology) and in urban functions (for instance, the high quality of the mixing use). Within these potentials, an important cultural and social legacy of the Expo 2015 could be induced by the involvement of several stakeholders in the event official organization process and by the consequent development of an intense political and cultural debate on the issues of sustainability and peri-urban agriculture, currently ongoing, together with the spontaneous bottom up activation of several initiatives and local conflicts related to the event planning and development at the metropolitan region scale. Although these cultural and social legacy potentials have not been promoted during the original planning phase, but in the current execution phase only, this human environment related to the Milan Expo could make a contribution, on the one hand, to the development of new and diffuse expertise and sensibility in different fields and on various topics (such as, events organization; political, social and economic cooperation; culture and tourist supply coordination; technological skill intensification; agricultural innovation; landscape and environmental quality; social inclusion), that is to a capacity building process that involve local administrators, economic operators, social organizations and other single stakeholders; on the other hand, to the growth of immaterial networks which could cross the current administrative limits and which could be capitalized and enhanced after the event ending. Beside the several Expo weaknesses, the richness of top down and bottom up initiatives connected to the event organization, together with the consequent capacity building of the local stakeholders and the related digital improvement of the involved places, could favor an immaterial event legacy, which could express some innovation potentials and overcome the frequent critical issues recognized within the Expo spatial projects. The potential crossing of
20 the Milan traditional administrative boundaries, enabled by both the Expo official governance and spontaneous initiatives, as well as by the digital innovation of the event places, intercept some recent reflections developed by the scientific debate on the scale and the scope of large events (Battisti et al., 2011). In a context of socio-economic globalization and global crisis, spatially marked by a growing regionalization of cities (Bolocan, 2008) and by clear risks of unsustainability of large physical interventions, a spatial scenario enlargement of governance and projects related to mega-events and their post-event legacy from the urban to the regional scale seems necessary. Based on a widespread exploitation of local resources, this wider vision could favor the development of the sustainability issues from single urban projects to an innovative regional regeneration process, which should be characterized by a stronger participation and responsibility towards the local needs in relation to the global flows. Starting from all of its recognizable immaterial potentialities, Expo 2015 could still be conceived as a territorial opportunity. In a theoretical framework, if properly supported by a cohesive system of public policies and of wider governance and participation within a postevent perspective, the event could still be considered as an occasion to enlarge the potential smart city development, currently ongoing, to a wider glocal and smart city-region extended from Milan to the whole Northern Italy 11 (Morandi, Rolando, Di Vita 2013; Rete Consultiva per Milano Glocal City 2013; Fig. 20). In a practical framework, the above mentioned top down and bottom up initiatives, capacity building potentials and digital experimentations of the Milan Expo and post-expo could be also considered as first attempts and start up opportunities for the activation and development of the new Milan Metropolitan City (recently established by the Italian Government 12 ), starting from the inter-municipal location of the Expo Site and from the agricultural features connected to the event theme of food and nutrition. In this sense, with proper caution regarding all of these suggestions which need to be explored, the Milan experience may contribute to the international debate on the new meaning of mega-events in a political, economic and social context swiftly and radically changed by the crisis of a global development model which has revealed its evident weaknesses and its socio-economic and environmental criticalities. 11 The Northern Italy urbanized area, made by networks of infrastructures and urban poles, is now identified as a global city-region (Perulli, Picchierri, 2010), in an economic perspective, or mega-city region (Balducci, 2005), in a spatial perspective. 12 Legge Nazionale 7 aprile 2014, n 56.