Milano Case study

Milan and methods organisational cultures for safety in mega events

The overall purpose of the Milan Expo case study is to understand the potential effects of cultural differences in disaster response regarding disruptions in infrastructural systems.

The overall purpose of the Milan Expo case study is to have a clear understanding of the role of organizations in relation to the technical systems they operate and the reaction of users coming from different cultures to any kind of disruption in the system.

The most specific objectives were monitoring the potential disruption during the event through newspapers and social media; understanding better how the multi-organizational culture has been formed; Collecting information about the structural development in the area due to EXPO; Collecting information about the changing risk landscape as a result of increasing exposure; Collecting information about ways to increase the effectiveness of those who respond to disasters and Providing guidelines that can be used in different localities.

Introduction to Milan and organizational cultures in mega events case study

The Milan case study will be conducted within the administrative borders of Milan Province. Milan is located in the Northern Italy, in the Lombardy Region (Figure 75). Milan is the second largest city in Italy, with more than 1.3 million inhabitants within the city borders, and more than 3 million inhabitants within the Milan Province (2014 ISTAT data) (Table 7). The city is well connected with its region. Lombardy region’s population is around 10 million inhabitants, distributed over an area of approximately 24,000 square kilometres. Regarding its dimension, economic importance, cultural level and political influence the Milan Province is in the center of the Italian economy. The major assets of Milan’s economy are fashion, architecture, culture and media. (Source: In Compass, Interreg Project EU).

The Milan Province is prone to hydro-meteorological and technological (industrial) disaster risks.

Figure 75. Milan’s location in Northern Italy

Table. The changes in the population number.
Source: Municipality of Milan – ISTAT data the day 31st of every year.
(*) After census

According to the Istat census data, the city is not growing naturally, migration is the reason for the increasing population. On January 1st, 2015 the number of people with a foreign nationality was 248,304 (Table 8). The city is attracting people, both from other Italian cities and other nations. The cultural heterogeneity of the city and its province makes it an interesting case study for EDUCEN.

Table 76. The population trend with foreign nationality
Source: Municipality of Milan – ISTAT data 1st January 2015
(*) After census

Mega-events are tools for marketing cities to become globally significant and attract national and international interest from all over the world. Mega-events are also engines for the structural and infrastructural development of cities, as economic resources gained by Mega-events are used to activate urban development (Steffani, 2011). To obtain a mega-event, a well-maintained infrastructure system is a must. However, having good quality infrastructure is not sufficient for being a part of this worldwide competition and hosting a mega-event. Providing resilience against disruption to infrastructure and services is strongly necessary to ensure the competitive advantage of cities, as well as safety and security of infrastructures.

Milan hosted EXPO 2015 since May 2015 until the end of October 2015. However, hosting a mega-event brings a major challenge to meet resilience targets. That is, the increased exposure of the population, including both inhabitants of the city and tourists/visitors coming to the event. That tremendous increase of exposed population from different cultures does not necessarily add new risks, but concentrate the current risks in cities in one place. Therefore disaster risk reduction considering the cultural diversities must be a part of the investment to increase the resilience of the infrastructural systems. Besides, there are the other issues such as the new risk landscape, including terrorism, traffic jam and changing hazard conditions that increase the vulnerability of cities, and the multiple interaction pattern of infrastructure systems. The latter occurs between the three layers existing in the city: spatial, organizational (public institutions or private, depending on the owner of the infrastructure system) and social (the users of the system).

Figure 77.The location of 2015 Milan Expo Site: 2015 Milan Expo Map

The approach adopted by Milan Expo case study will be mutual learning by observing the changing risk landscape, and having meetings with the related actors. The focus of the study will be on the changing social and spatial structure of the study area, and how those changes affect crisis situations.

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