The focus was on Venice at the first big events at the Italy Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, the first Universal exposition to be held in the Arab world, with the lagoon city, a cultural world heritage site, putting up its candidature for
world capital of sustainability.
The first of Expo Dubai’s thematic weeks on Climate Change and Biodiversity, will unfold at the Italy Pavilion with a series of initiatives dedicated to the fragile beauty of Venice: at the same time local laboratory and international model for the fight against climate change. The analysis of the innovative environmental transition and cultural and social innovation processes – all of which form the best practices that Venice presents on the Expo’s global platform – is the focus of the two forums on the lagoon city which intend to launch its candidature for world capital of sustainability.
“This operational project is the ecological response to ‘No-to-everything Environmentalism’,” explained Luigi Brugnaro, referring to the candidature put forward by the Venice Municipality, Metropolitan City, Veneto Region, and national Government. “Venice, precisely in the year celebrating 1,600 years from its Foundation, looks at the future and proves to be a place of innovation and a pioneer in culture and technology. Hydrogen, closing the waste management cycle, recovering used frying oils and plastics to avoid polluting the oceans, and sustainable mobility are the tangible actions already implemented and that are bound to develop even further over the next years.
We do this because we want to give an answer to those youths who ask us to do something tangible to protect the environment and their future. We work together, in teamwork, and we leave a tangible sign of our commitment.
Let’s do it all together, with foresight and free spirits.” In Dubai, to speak about the future of Venice, in addition to Mayor Brugnaro and the Italian Commissioner for Expo 2020 Paolo Glisenti, there will also be the Rector of Ca’ Foscari University Tiziana Lippiello, the Government’s Special Commissioner for the Mo.S.E. (“Modulo Sperimentale Elettromeccanico – Electromechanical Experimental Module”) Elisabetta Spitz, as well as numerous representatives of the companies involved in wide-reaching environmental and energy transition processes, including the CEO of Snam, Marco Alverà and Eni through the head of its R&D Business Partner Energy Evolution, Francesca Ferrazza. The debate panel will include Carlo Bagnoli, professor of Strategy Innovation at Ca’Foscari University and founder and Scientific Director of VeniSIA.
“On 3 October 2020, the Mo.S.E. floodgates were lifted for the first time, thus safeguarding the lagoon from the high tide water. Exactly one year from that game-changing event for Venice, I am happy to celebrate the engineering
excellence of this infrastructure on a stage such as EXPO Dubai”, stated Special Commissioner Spitz who, when turning to the state of progress of the works, assures: “The barriers of the Mo.S.E. are capable of safeguarding the lagoon as of the first high tide while awaiting for the work to be completed.”
“The uniqueness of Venice is particularly stimulating in rethinking a new space-time dimension in which the relationship between the natural and the social environment is harmoniously balanced,” said Rector Lippiello. She
went on: “Innovation is based on the awareness of the past and of the social and natural environment. In 1,600 years of history consisting of multiculturalism, international trade, entrepreneurship, art, and science, Venice has revealed to be a living laboratory rooted in the past but looking to the future. Therefore, Venice as world capital of sustainability represents a decisive moment in which to help tackling a challenge of global dimensions through the essential contribution of the new generations. We are faced with a great responsibility that is also a great opportunity.”
The experts called to debate the challenges faced by the lagoon city in combating climate change include Antonio Navarra, President of the CMCC Foundation (Euro-Mediterrane Centre on Climate Change) and professor of
Meteorology and Oceanography at the University of Bologna, and Antonello Pasini, climate change scientist at the Italian National Research Council (CNR) and professor of Physics of Climate at the University Roma Tre. As to Venice’s dimension as scientific and cultural crossroads between the West and the East – the subject of the Italy Pavilion’s other Expo first week initiatives – the debate will instead unfold between the Rector of Ca’ Foscari University and Wang Shuao, Director of International Affairs at the University of Soochow (China), and Sungdon Hwang, from Hankuk
University in Seoul.
The panel of speakers debating in this “Venetian” morning session in Dubai will be moderated by RAI’s TG1 journalist Valentina Bisti. Mo.S.E., laboratory of sustainability The Mo.S.E., intended as a “laboratory of sustainability” will be the topic of the afternoon panel session at the Italy Pavilion: debating the topic will be Commissioner Spitz and Rector Lippiello, the Minister of Sustainable Transport and Mobility Enrico Giovannini (connected via video conference)
and Mauro Antonelli, the Head of the Ministry’s technical secretariat.
The environmental emergency created by rising sea levels – a global challenge dramatically highlighted by the record level of high tide water in Venice and similar phenomena in all the world’s continents – is a topic of debate between Pier Vellinga, Chairman of Knowledge for Climate Research Program, and Giovanni Zarotti, Technical Director of the Consorzio Venezia Nuova. Ferrazza from ENI will make a presentation on the decarbonization of the Mo.S.E. The afternoon session will be moderated by Luca Molinari, Scientific Director of “M9- Museo del ‘900” in Mestre.
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