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Use and Abuse of Design and Narratives for the Milano Expo 2015

Abstract

Increasing frictions between local values of sustainability and the global money economy pose a growing need for critical analysis of design and planning for mega-events. While map presentations relate to legal liability, accompanying narratives usually serve only to substantiate the validity of design. This paper addresses the Milano Expo 2015 and through theory of design narrative and departing from landscape sustainability in planning, it analyzes the stories, imaginative maps and artist impressions presented during the development process. The idealistic design narrative camouflaged plain development visible in the design maps, while a landscape planning narrative seemed about sustainability but was in reality only securing water for aesthetic design. Deceiving design and naive planning narratives facilitated development while sustainability practice suffered, leaving a wasteland behind with negative effects on the water systems of the region. Design and narratives were abused (-un) consciously for other purposes, destroying opportunities to develop towards landscape sustainability. Published in the Journal of Environmental Studies 64 (2019): 51-91
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