The Garden of the Future
The Italian Pavilion is structured and designed with the purpose of showcasing and explaining horizontal and vertical agriculture to be applied to areas in which conventional methods are not applicable. The outdoor area is bordered by a hydroponically cultivated ‘fenced area’. This solution will allow visitors to immerse themselves in the theme straight away, even before entering the pavilion, and they will also be able to explore it inside during their visit.
The purpose of this tall barrier is to create shaded areas in the courtyard, which vary continuously throughout the day.
A route connecting the garden to the pavilion gives visitors the chance to find out more about possible solutions to the issue of growing fruit and vegetables in desert areas. In the garden there are 15 trees of different heights with hydroponic cultivation systems wrapped around their trunk, surrounded by bamboo rings and rattan and wicker shading systems to create shaded areas, offering protection from the sun in the recreational areas furnished with tables and chairs. The architectural design, created by Arch. Lorenzo Tappi (Studio Associato Barbieri), serves as a propositional and evocative element through which, during the Expo, the Italy pavilion will be given the chance to provide answers and suggest models for future development with regard to the issue of desert cultivation.
In order to ensure food security, which is under pressure due to global population growth, in the next few years the agricultural sector will be faced with a number of complex and unprecedented challenges posed by various factors, such as climate change, biodiversity loss, migration of populations, conflicts and economic instabilities. A major concern is desertification, which currently affects more than 1 billion people in roughly 100 countries. Agriculture is to blame as it affects the quality of soil, degrading and impoverishing it, which leads to desertification. This process can be reversed by taking corrective actions that can only be implemented by using special technologies that will help agriculture to balance the need for environmentally sustainable development with a quantitative and qualitative increase in production. Water availability is decreasing, which is why it is essential to preserve water and optimize its use as much as possible. The use of technology can and should help to reduce the environmental impact of the greenhouse effect, of hydro geological instability, of soil depletion, and of air and groundwater pollution. Technology improves the quality of life of farmers and brings a positive effect on new generations too. In fact, modern agriculture is becoming increasingly appealing, since farming is no longer considered a strenuous and precarious profession.
When it comes to agricultural technology, from field to post-harvest, Italian manufacturers are known for being leaders in terms of export numbers and volume. As well as offering high-quality products, Italian companies are much appreciated for their flexibility and ability to meet global market demands, which is crucial in today’s ever-changing, complex scenario. Italian companies are also well known for offering excellent after-sales service, which can be considered a strategic advantage.
Micropropagation, a technique in which Italian companies are world leaders, has a unique role to play in the desert greening process and, as a result, in the production of large amounts of plant material. It is a high-tech process that makes it possible to quickly obtain large amounts of healthy, high-quality plants with specific technical characteristics.
Science, technology and innovation have the potential to accelerate the transformation of agri-food production, making it more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable. By using Italian technologies, increased and improved production can be achieved in order to ensure proper nutrition while protecting the fragile environment and improving people’s lives.
In the Italian Pavilion visitors can find the following technologies:
Eco-cultivation, clean and convenient.
The plants are grafted into containers that ﬂoat in a large tank ﬁlled with water and nutrient solutions. The roots of the plant grow from the containers directly into the water. This system, thanks to the high level of thermal and mechanical automation, requires very little maintenance and allows enormous savings in water, which is constantly oxygenated and replaced only once a year.
High technology meets Nature.
The Cultured plants grow inside floating peat cells in hydroponic tanks.
The nutrient solution descends, like a delicate waterfall, from the highest tanks to those placed on the roots of the plants and rises again, in an infinite cycle, moved by special hydraulic pumps. This allows for a great saving of water and a rapid growth of the plants “embracing” the trunk of the tree.
The vertical indoor forest.
The hydroponic tanks are fixed to the walls and the irrigation channels, which start from the higher tanks, also feed the plants below with a natural waterfall. Water is saved and reused and even the evaporated water can be conveyed in a virtuous cycle.
Technology saves the planet.
The Micro-Irrigation system is a localized drip irrigation circuit that reduces the water waste and distributes water under low pressure through a network of pipes. The micro-irrigation delivers water directly to the roots of plants, reducing evaporation and runoff. This system is used in agriculture for row crops, orchards and vineyards.
Climate control is a key factor.
In addition to water, climate is also a fundamental ingredient for the correct growth of plants.
Temperature, humidity and air purity must be constantly monitored to obtain a qualitatively and quantitatively excellent harvest.
Appropriate systems equipped with specially designed sensors and ﬁlters allow to monitor and create the perfect climate.
The effects of the propagation of an optimal climate are clear and visible within special structures, where it is possible to verify the development of the plants.