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Mayor of Milan Giuliano Pisapia: 'Be in love with your country, but also love other cultures'

On November 11, the HSE hosted an open lecture by Mayor of Milan Giuliano Pisapia. He talked about the upcoming international exhibition Expo 2015, which will take place in Milan from May-October next year, and about the transformations underway in Milan as an urban environment. He extended an invitation to HSE to take part in Expo Milano 2015, saying that Milan was 'ready to offer a forum for interesting projects' proposed by leading universities.

Expo Milano 2015 will run from May 1 to October 31, and is focused on solving problems related to nutrition and food production and consumption. A total of 147 countries are taking part in the exhibition, and for the first time in the history of international exhibitions, pavilions will be arranged not georgraphically, but thematically – in clusters or in conjunction with countries' positions in the global food-production network.

During the exhibition, about 14,000 official events will take place, in addition to numerous other events on the sidelines organized by individual companies or cities (Italian and international), as well as numerous other cultural, entertainment, and sporting events, including the World Rowing and Canoeing Championships.

Mayor Pisapia stressed that 'since these days a significant proportion of state- and municipality- supported initiatives are generated in universities, and the rectors of all Milan's eight universities are taking part in the Academic Board of the exhibition.' 'Other universities are welcome to propose their event ideas, we are willing to offer them space for interesting projects,' he added.

It is important to recall that globally we have shared goals, and to understand that each culture has its own riches to offer to the world

Giuliano Pisapia
Mayor of Milan

Dean of the HSE's Graduate School of Urban Studies and Planning Alexandr Vysokovsky asked about plans to create a 'Greater Milan', which to an extent mirrors 'Greater Moscow'. Mayor Pisapia explained that this step was initiated 'from above' and was chiefly related to the need to connect issues of protecting the environment with solving transport problems, and also in order to attract investment. But in any case, Mayor Pisapia said, city authorities are in no rush to innovate and will make sure that all innovations are thoroughly thought through.

Mayor Pisapia is personally involved in the many various transformations that the city has seen: he travels freely across the city by bicycle, or in his hybrid electric car; drops by schools unannounced, trying the canteen food and talking to pupils about teaching quality.

Touching on the crisis in Russian-European relations, Mayor Pisapia noted that the tensions could be reduced by 'social glue' – the close interaction and cooperation between universities, municipalities, and ethnic and cultural groups, that will make it possible to reestablish the goodwill and dialogue 'at the top.'

'It is important to recall that globally we have shared goals, and to understand that each culture has its own riches to offer to the world. You must be in love with your own country, but also love other cultures,' Mayor Pisapia said, closing his speech.

Maria Glazyrina, 4th year student, Faculty of Law, HSE News site intern.

Photo: Mikhail Dmitriev 

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