Interviews - Commissariato Italiano Esposizione Universale di Shanghai 2010

Umberto Vattani
Umberto Vattani

"Unity and diversity, the incredible resources of our cities"
Interview with Umberto Vattani, President of the National Institute for Foreign Trade.

The Chinese exhibition is foreseen as the most incredible ever of its kind, and launches, Italy included, a crucial challenge: what kind of model city can we imagine in the near future?

An ‘ideal city’, a place where work, private life and culture blend in harmony.
A ‘type’ of city which Italy, more than any other nation, can put forward, because it’s from our own country and our past that we can start looking for inspiration.
For us, the very concept of the city begins with ancient Rome. We can find that humus, the civilized way of living together in many of our towns today. Ideal cities which from the very beginning were created for man. Cities which are for ever surprising us, which mix economic balance, architectonic masterpieces, wellbeing, taste and respect for our environment. The challenge made by EXPO is demanding and decisive for our future.

The Italian Pavilion is, in a way, already an answer………
The idea of our ideal city…..

Exactly. Architect Imbrighi’s Pavilion is just how we imagine a city. One of our cities. An underground, ground, water and sky city.
All the elements that today distinguish us. There isn’t an Italian town that isn’t near a river or that hasn’t developed without exploiting resources underground, ground and sky, it is an integrated communication system.
All these elements give us the opportunity of improving continually the services we offer: e-government, e-learning, e-commerce, are only a few of the extraordinary results we are having. Expo gives us the opportunity to share these ideas with our Chinese friends and make them understand that what we are aiming at - a more harmonious city – our city.

The Italian Commissioner, Beniamino Quintieri, has invited the Italian firms not to miss out on such an important opportunity.

We are certainly ready to take up this invitation and we must present ourselves at our best, fully aware that Expo Shaghai is a crucial moment.
I don’t think there’s anywhere else in the world where the problem of designing a harmonious city is posed as it is in China today. We are able to give the right answers.

In which way?

Sienna, Florence, Venice are models of integration and unity which we Italians have been able to preserve for years, something which nobody else in the world has been able to do. We have exploited unity and diversity and the incredible strategic resources of our cities in the best possible way.