Funda Atun and Scira Menoni (POLIMI)

Milan Expo 2015 case study: description and rationale

The concept of a mega-event and relation to DRR

Mega-events are marketing tools for cities to make them globally significant and attract national and international interest from all over the world.

Mega-events are also engines for the structural development of cities, as economic resources gained by mega-events are used to activate urban development (De Steffani, 2011).

A case study on mega-events helps us to tackle the culture in terms of two perspectives; organizational culture and culture in hard infrastructure. The former is about the cooperation of several national and international organizations to achieve a successful mega-event.

The latter is about improving the structural condition of a city, as 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 also imperative to ensure the competitive advantage of cities, as well as the safety and security of infrastructures.

Hosting a mega-event brings a major challenge to meet resilience targets, meaning, the increased exposure of the population, including both inhabitants of the city and tourists/visitors coming to the event.

The tremendous increase of exposed population from different cultures does not necessarily add new risks, but concentrates the current risks in one place.

That tremendous increase of exposed population from different cultures does not necessarily add new risks, but concentrates the current risks in the city in one place. Therefore, disaster risk reduction (DRR) that considers these cultural diversities must be a part of the investment to increase the resilience of the infrastructure systems.

There are also other issues, such as the new risk landscape, including terrorism, traffic jams 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 territory: spatial, organizational (public institutions or private, depending on the owner of the infrastructure system) and social (the users of the system).

The Milan case study does not focus on a particular disaster typology, but it focuses organizational culture and any kind of disruption to the infrastructure system due to natural and man-made risks.

Introducing the Milan CS: socio-demographic pattern of the province

The Milan case study was conducted within the administrative borders of Milan Province. Milan is located in Northern Italy, in the Lombardy Region. 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).

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

The city is well connected with its region. The Lombardy Region’s population is around 10 million inhabitants, distributed over an area of approximately 24,000 square kilometers. Regarding its dimension, economic importance, cultural level and political influence, the Milan Province is in the center of the Italian economy. Milan’s major economic assets are fashion, architecture, culture and media. (Source: In Compass, Interreg Project EU).

According to the Istat census data, the city is not growing naturally and migration is the reason for the increasing population. On January 1st, 2015 the number of people with a foreign nationality was 248,304 (Figure 2). 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.

The population trend of foreign nationalities. Source: Municipality of Milan – ISTAT data 1st January 2015, (*) After census

The risk landscape of Milan Province

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

Industrial risk map in the province of Milan. (source: Protezione Civile)
Hydrogeological risk map of the Milan Metropolitan Area. (source: Protezione Civile)

Milan is a city with a complex hydrography, including natural and man-made canals, rivers, streams and ditches. Although it seems simple currently because of underground rivers, the hydrography of Milan still maintains its complexity.

The Milan metropolitan area is bordered on the east and west by two rivers: Adda and Ticino. In the past, the city was in the middle of the basin and the rivers were distant from the city. Over the centuries, the trend had always been to enhance the provision of water in the city by changing and modifying the paths of the streams, in order to bring them closer to the city area.

They were initially made of natural interventions on the pattern; more recently, the trend has been to create new artificial canals that led to the creation of the rich system of canals. Towards the end of the 19th century, with the industrial and urban expansion, many waterways that first ran in the open began to be covered. Currently, the main waterways through the city run along a complex system of culverts and riverbeds that cover about 50 km.

In recent decades, as a result of the great expansion and urbanization, particularly in the north, the system of rivers has undergone significant changes that have affected the security of the territory.

New settlements have caused an increase in waterproofed areas, and therefore an increase in the volume of piped water in streams

The sewage system intended for the new settlements has caused a reduction in the concentration time of rainwater resulting in the overlapping of flood waves.

Furthermore, the sewage system intended for the new settlements has caused a reduction in the concentration time of rainwater, favoring quick disposal in naturalized receptors and resulting in the overlapping of flood waves.

This has caused the occurrence of severe and frequent flooding on major rivers. The Seveso, particularly, has been featured in numerous floods in the Niguarda area, Piazzale Istria and Viale Fulvio Testi. The Lambro river maintains the risk of flooding as well, especially when considering the increasing exposure in the proximity of the river.

Introducing the Milan EXPO 2015

Milan hosted the EXPO 2015 starting from May 2015 until the end of October 2015. The proposed theme for Expo 2015 was “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life / Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”, wanting to consider everything about power: from the problem of food shortages in some depressed areas of the world, to that of ‘food and food solidarity education’; from the issues related to GMOs, new technologies and innovation to the different cultures and ethnicities, traditions and creativity related to the food industry in general.

The EXPO exhibition area was located in the Northern Part of the Milan Municipality, in the Rho area.

The location of EXPO 2015
Map of the 2015 Milan Expo Site

The approach of the Milan Expo case study is mutual learning, by having meetings with the related actors and a survey on the published reports, as well as emergency plans, risk maps and development plans of the municipalities involved in the organization of the Expo. The focus of the study is on the organizational culture and the changing social and spatial structure within the Milan Province.

The objectives in Milan EXPO 2015 CS

How can the consideration of culture help to address the existing issues?

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 are:

  1. Monitoring the potential disruption during the event through newspapers and social media.
  2. Understanding better how the multi-organizational culture has been formed.
  3. Collecting information about the structural development in the area due to EXPO.
  4. Collecting information about the changing risk landscape as a result of increasing exposure.
  5. Collecting information about ways to increase the effectiveness of those who respond to disasters.
  6. Providing guidelines that can be used in different localities.

The case study contains stakeholders and experts who have been involved in the Milan Expo activity, including the Lombardy Region Fire Brigade, the Municipality of Milan and Milano Prefecture.

Meeting the actors has helped us to understand the differences between the conceptual frameworks and maps and the actual situation during EXPO that was encountered.

Having meetings with these actors has helped us to understand the differences between the conceptual frameworks and maps that have been prepared following normative patterns (rules, roles, actions), and the actual situation during EXPO that was encountered. Indeed, the findings of the case study suggest several courses of action for decision makers and emergency planners. Exploring the following as future strategies can facilitate the attainment of resilience.

Selection of methods

The question raised in this section is of “the relation between mega-events and culture” and which methodology is best suited for understanding this relation.

Before all else, it is not easy to define culture. In the classic book “Culture: a critical review of concepts and definitions”, the anthropologists A. L. Kroeber and C. Kluckhohn (1952) include 164 different definitions of culture. In its broadest term, culture means all the materials and spirituality that man created and added to nature.

The cultural endowment in the society determines specific norms and rules. Culture is a dynamic notion, and a cultural change can be traced both materially and also cognitively within the changing perceptions. In Milan’s case, we see the results of this interaction both in the physical and organizational pattern.

During the mega-events, interaction takes place between different public and private institutions as they behave in a casual manner and share experience and knowledge.

Therefore, a multi-organizational culture has been formed as a result of the establishment of the common terminology, several communication tools and methods and mutual knowledge sharing about the norms and resources of each organization. The constructed multi-organizational culture remains stable and continuous over time, as a result of the new norms and rules that have been formed.

In the meantime, the changes can be seen in the physical pattern. The exhibition and support activities of EXPO 2015 involved a rather large area, including 8 municipalities: Milan, Baranzate, Arese, Bollate, Garbagnate Milanese, Lainate, Pero and Rho Municipalities, with involvement from the Metropolitan City of Milan and the Lombardy Region.

In table 1, we have indicated the chosen methodologies and activities for each objective. In addition to the main activities, we have organized a workshop on mega-events in Politecnico di Milano (for the program of the workshop, please see the Annex 2), and we analyzed other case studies as supportive activities (Table 2). The workshop in Milan was an opportunity to learn about the stakeholders’ experience and exchange ideas.

We also included the 2012 London Olympic Games in our research, as a best practice, to support and enrich the findings regarding mega-events. We invited some representatives from London to the workshop in Milan.

We approached the related organizations involved in the 2012 London Olympic Games through email. We invited them to the mega-event workshop in Milan. Three representatives attended the workshop in Milan and presented their experience. Then a researcher from the Polimi team went to London to conduct interviews. We conducted interviews with open ended questions.

The purpose was to understand the cultural differences and similarities between different organizations involved in safety and security planning before, during and after the London Olympic Games. The list of the organizations were the interviews were conducted are listed in table 3; and the questions that were asked during the interviews are listed in table 4.

Table 1. Objectives

Objective Layer/pattern Methodology Activities
Monitoring the potential disruption and the response to it Multi-organizational pattern&Spatial Pattern Secondary data collection Collection of information/data through social and mass media during EXPO (Annex 1)
    Primary data collection Interviews with the representatives of organizations involved in EXPO
Understanding better how the multi-organizational culture has been formed Multi-organizational pattern Secondary data collection Literature study on mega-events regarding changing infrastructural and structural patterns of cities that are hosting mega-events.
    Primary data collection Interviews with the representatives of organizations involved in EXPO.
    Primary data collection Interviews with the representatives of organizations involved in the London Olympics (the London Olympics was chosen as a case to study to collect more data on mega-events)
Collecting information about the structural development in the area due to EXPO Spatial Pattern Secondary data collection Analysis of the development plans of the municipalities involved in the Milan Expo
  Spatial Pattern&Social Pattern Secondary data collection Analysis of the census data to changes in the population, employment, etc.
Lessons Learned:Information about the ways to increase the effectiveness of those who respond to disasters Multi-organizational pattern& Spatial Layer Secondary data collection Analysis of innovative information sharing strategies during mega-events in case of occurrence of a crisis.
    Production of knowledge after data collection List of activities needed during a crisis depending on hard infrastructure during mega-events
Lessons Learned:Providing guidelines for other cases Multi-organizational pattern & Spatial Layer Production of knowledge after data collection Analysis of all the collected data and transcription of interviews

Table 2. Supportive activities

Methodology Rationale
Workshop in Milan in March 2016 All the organizations involved in the Milan Expo 2015 participated in the workshop. We first approached the Milan Prefecture, and the Prefecture brought together all the organizations involved in the Milan Expo 2015. They all had 8-minute presentations during the workshop. (EXPO 2015 SPA, Milan Prefecture, State Police, Milan Municipality, Medical Emergency, Milan Firemen Department, Lombardy Region, Regional Department of Fire Brigade of Lombardy). For creating a learning environment, we also involved the 2012 London Olympic Games in the workshop. We included resilience, safety and security issues during the 2012 London Olympic Games, and we invited one speaker for each subject, including Ex-Met Police Department Security Design Advisor, Head of the Resilience Planning in Transport for London (TfL), and an expert on Safety Management.
Examples from case studies In addition, we tried to involve the project’s case studies as well. The Volos Case provided us an example from their project area.
2012 London Olympic Games We involved the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic games as an example. To collect more information, we had a site visit to London in June 2016. The 2012 London Olympic games are the most recent example in Europe with the same scale as the 2015 Milan Expo. We approached the related organizations, including the London Resilience Team, London Fire Brigade, London Metropolitan Police, London Borough of Tower Hamlet and London Borough of Newham and Transport for London (resilience team, London surface travel, London tube network). With the people who agreed to be involved in the survey, we conducted in-depth interviews.

Table 3. The list of the organizations where the interviews were conducted in London

Organization The role of the Respondent Date
London Fire Brigade Contingency Planning, Operational ResilienceGroup Manager 20.06.2016
London Resilience Exercise Unified Response, Command Post Exercise LeadLondon Resilience Officer London Fire Brigade 20.06.2016
London Underground Line General ManagerPiccadilly Line, London Underground 20.06.2016
Transport for London -Resilience Head of Resilience PlanningTransport for London 20.06.2016
Transport for London Resilience and Business Continuity Manager, business recovery and business continuity activities 20.06.2016
Transport for London Resilience Training and Exercises Manager delivering command and incident management training and delivering desktop and seminar exercises for Surface Transport 20.06.2016
ODA - Security ODA Security boss 21.06.2016
A borough Emergency Planner 21.06.2016
Transport for London Events Planning Manager, London Buses, Surface Transport 21.06.2016

Note: The names of the respondents are kept anonymous

Table 4. Questions asked during the interviews

What is your role in this organization?    
What was your role during the mega-event (such as London Olympic Games, or Milan EXPO)?    
What were the specific objectives?    
Do you think that considering culture in DRR is relevant in mega-events?    
How to anticipate and identify solutions or cultural problems that may arise in the event of an emergency?    
With whom did you collaborate?    
According to your observation, what are the differences in the operational culture between the different institutions (such as local authorities, rescuers etc.)?    
What are the set of procedures/configurations/institutions involved?    
What is the best way to convey messages to people during emergencies?    
What are the impacts of cultural aspects on the effectiveness of risk communication?    
Have you ever encountered any specific problem related to specific/diverse cultural aspects?    
Which cultural factors, important insights, specific communication styles for a given cultural group should be taken into consideration during disaster situations in an urban area?    
What was the worst thing happened? How did you respond?    
How do you define the success of the Mega-events?    
What did you learn?    
What were the benefits/advantages/problems were identified?    
What would you do differently, if it happens again?    
How did your planning/routines have changed after the mega-event?    

The case study

Disruptions/Emergencies during the event

The potential risk maps of Milan, including inundation, industrial accidents and emergency plans for multiple levels, were already ready before EXPO 2015.

Regarding the 24h/7days tele-camera service in centre: During the event, the real-time traffic flow was monitored with the geo-referenced vehicles. The biometric cameras were directly connected to the database in the centre. Additionally, Ferrovia Nord (railroad company) also used tele-camera service for an excellent signalization.

During the mega-event, the central command center was involved in more than 2000 activities. The number of activities within the expo area is given in figure 5.

Figure 7. The safety and security related COM activities within the EXPO area (Source: The prefecture of Milan, in Italian)

In August 2015, the biggest challenge for the Regional Civil Protection Authority was having a big wave of migrants (in total 1 million) in the central train station of Milan (from an interview with a regional civil protection official).

Another challenge was the blockage of the railway system in August. A train was broken and blocked the railway before Florance. All the trains passing through Florance came back to Milan Central Station. In total, 1500 passengers returned to Milan. The situation was handled via a mobility plan. The central train station and all the taxis were alerted. Between 23:30 – 03:00, all passengers were successfully placed in hotels.(interview with a Fire brigade officer, February 2016, Milan)

One of the most dangerous event was the damage on the EBI’s Diesel Pipeline and oil spill. The incident area was very close to the EXPO area. The fire risk was very high, however, the incident was taken into control successfully.

Location of the oil spill	pipeline

Multi-organizational culture

Mega-events such as EXPO and the Olympic Games require the involvement of several stakeholders working together for the same overall purpose, with the responsibility of the diverse target groups with different resources. There is no concrete mega-event definition, as an ordinary event for a large city can be a mega-event for a smaller town.

The mega-event definition depends mainly on the resources and customs. EXPO was a mega-event for Milan not only due to the number of visitors, but also due to the need for the involvement of several institutions working together and because of the length of the event (6 months).

In the organization of EXPO, all activities were coordinated by the Prefecture of Milan. The rest of the stakeholders can be grouped into 8 sections, according to their functions in the COM (Central Operation Room) by considering the Augustus Method.

In Italy, Civil Protection has carried out its activities according to the “Augustus” method since its establishment in 1997. The Augustus method is a standardised and easy-to-implement approach for complex emergency situations. The methodology encompasses the setting up of up to 14 (regional and national) “support functions”. F1: Planning and technique; F2: Health, social and veterinary assistance; F3: Media and information; F4: Volunteers; F5: Means and materials; F6: Transportation and viability; F7: TLC; F8: Essential services; F9: Damage assessment; F10: Operative structures; F11: Local authorities; F12: Dangerous materials; F13: Assistance to the population; F14: Coordination of operational centres.

COM EXPO Milan 2015
Emergency plans

Coordination and operational centre: Prefecture of Milan

Operational structure: Police Headquarters; Carabineers; Italian Finance Police; State Forestry Corps; State Fire-Brigade Service; Red Cross Italy; Army; Aeronautic Army, Health, social support, veterinary: Lombardy Region D.G. health; Lombardy Region AREU, AAT-118; Lombardy Region ASL Milano 1; Lombardy Region Milano

Local institutions:

  • Representatives of Lombardy Region: D.G. Security, Civil Protection and Migration
  • Representatives of Milan municipality: Security, Civil Protection and Mobility Sector
  • Representatives of Metropolitan City of Milan – Local Police, Civil Protection and road sector
  • Representatives of Arese municipality
  • Representatives of Baranzate Municipality
  • Representatives of Bollate Municipality
  • Representatives of Garbagnate Milanese Municipality
  • Representatives of Lainate Municipality
  • Representatives of Pero Municipality
  • Representatives of Rho Municipality
  • Representatives of Commissary of the largest Expo Milano 2015
  • Transportation, circulation and mobility:
  • Traffic police representative
  • Border police representative (Malpensa, Linate, Orio al Serio airports)
  • Railroad Police representative
  • Lombardy Region transportation and mobility sector representative
  • Milan Municipality Mobility sector representative
  • Local Police Milan Municipality
  • Rail operators and public transport (ATM, RFI, Ferrovia Nord, Trenitalia, NTV, Treni Nord)
  • Infrastructure sector representatives (ANAS, Autostrade per l’Italia, Milano Serravallle – Tangenziale, Transportation sector of Milan Metropolitan Municipality)
  • Air Transport Sector representatives (ENAC, ENAV, SEA)
  • Telecommunication
  • Postal police and communication
  • A.R.I – RE
  • TIM
  • Vodafone
  • Wind
  • H3G
  • Critical Services
  • Coordination and operational centre: Prefecture of Milan TERNA ENEL A2A Electricit MM Water resources
  • CAP – Amicque
  • Management sector Oleodotti and Metanodotti (SNAM and ENI)
  • Voluntaries
  • Lombardy region - DG Security, Civil protection and immigration
  • Metropolitan city of Milan – DG security and civil protection, Provincial Coordination OO.V.
  • Communication
  • Representative of Prefecture

(Source: The prefecture of Milan, in Italian)

Structural development for expo 2015 Milan

The event affected the Milan metropolitan area for six months, with participation of over 120 countries, international bodies and organizations. There were large infrastructure investments, divided between essential works directly related to the scope of EXPO and related works that completed the infrastructure system, including the associated works not included in the application file.

The Expo 2015 area became the catalyst for territorial spread.

The area directly forming the measures for the construction of exhibition space is located in the northwest of the Milan urban region, within the borders of the municipalities of Milan and Rho, adjacent to the exhibition center Fiera Milano.

The area was chosen due to the presence of RHO Fiera, but also especially due to the presence of infrastructures (highway, high-speed rail, regional rail system, the metro line). As well as being part of a metropolitan area, both Milan and surrounding municipalities were affected by major urban transformation processes. From this perspective, the Expo 2015 area became the catalyst for territorial spread.

The territory of the municipalities belonging to the Rho area has an extension of 125 sq km, corresponding to 6.3% of the Province of Milan and a population equal to 7.28% of the total. The local density is the third highest after Milan city. The picture that emerges is that of diffused urbanization organized according to a structure in which one can distinguish four different systems.

The area was affected by major urban transformation processes, such as Milano Porta Garibaldi the City Life project, the former Alfa Romeo development project in the Arese area and the fifth metro line in Milan (Lilla)

Milano Porta Garibaldi, New City Landscape
City Life Project, in Domodossola Milan
Ex Alfa Romeo Production site – Arese Shopping Mall
Metro Lilla

From this perspective, the Expo 2015 area will become the centerpiece of a process of territorial spread to an entire metropolitan area. For example, in Garbagnate, in addition to infrastructure projects, there is the project of Via Water the main territorial project connected to the event.

Via Acqua (via Water) Milan EXPO 2015

A water channel connected with a pedestrian and cycle path is used as an element of a promoter compressive territorial requalification of the areas concerned. The activities also involve the extension of the bicycle path from Milan to the EXPO site, and extending the bicycle fleet with electric bicycles.

Extension of the Bicycle Paths

Lessons learned: the way forward

Potential Effects of Mega-events

If the mega-events are handled well politically, organizationally and structurally, they provide great advantages for social, structural and economic challenges.

Cities traditionally have specific problems that arise due to their inherited culture, such as old age, migration, unemployment, disabled people and structural changes due to industrial decline.

Those problems can be organized into three groups: physical (structural changes, deprived areas), social (inequality, social tension, old age, disability, migration rate) and economic (unemployment). The core question here is, “How can these problems be considered and solved by the decisions made during mega-events?”

Such events also help promote international programs, especially an EXPO about nutrition and sustainability, which helps to make effective development strategies and establish networks in the environmental field.

As was shown in the Know4DRR Project

The project “Enabling knowledge for disaster risk reduction in integration to climate change adaptation” (acronym: KNOW-4-DRR) was proposed to analyse, assess and understand how knowledge about disaster risk reduction and adaptation to climate change is produced, managed, and shared and ultimately made use of – or indeed not used – by scientists, practitioners, decision makers, and by educational and civil society actors. Networks will likely take on an increasingly significant role for DRR, including CCA, because of their capacity to bring stakeholders together to share experiences and increase the knowledge base, and thus facilitate improved decision-making by stakeholders in policy and practice.


Mega-event related activities can be organized into six main groups, namely planning, construction of the site, training, collaboration, communication and legacy, in three different time periods; before, during and after the event

Security, Safety and Resilience are the three main notions and are strongly connected with mega-event related activities.

Security Issues are more present before the event, during the construction of the event site. Security includes all the measures taken to protect the construction site before and during the event against any kind of attack. Regarding successful security, ın London an ex-military officer mentioned that “you need to find the right balance between making people alert and interested in security, and not alarming them.”

Safety means the protection of people and properties from hazards caused by non-malicious incidents. In such events, however, absolute safety is not possible (interview with an officer of fire brigade, June 2016, London).

Resilience, one of the officials from Milan said that auto protection is the key for resilience, and it is important to accept that there will be a phase of chaos during the event.

The systematic schema of the activities, timing and key issues in mega events

Table 5. Guidelines

Activity Timing Audience Key-issue Guidelines
Planning Before During the event Prefecture, Civil Protection, Municipalities, Public and private bodies that are involved in planning of the event Security and safety Choosing the right people according to skill requirements and keeping the key people on major projects throughout the entire process
Correct estimation of budget and inclusion of both public and private authoritiesImprovisation when it is necessary
Construction of the site Before the event Municipalities, planners, architects and engineers Security Improving the safety facilitiesDisaster risk reduction must be a part of all development and infrastructure system investmentsCoordinated actions for development should consider sustainable use of the territory
Training and drills Before the event Prefecture, Civil Protection, Municipalities, Public Security and safety Learning duties and rolesKnowing each otherBuilding trust
Collaboration During the event Public and private bodies that are involved in planning of the event Security, safety and resilience Extensive engagement of people, including publicInvolvement of all the government authoritiesCommunication and transportation agencies (in the case of Milan Vodafone)Synergy; having a common purpose
Communication During the event Public Prefecture, Civil Protection, Municipalities Securityand safety FlexibilityTrust buildingData groupingUse of social media to communicate with public, in addition to traditional mediaUse of volunteers from civil servants to help and communicate with people Multi-ethnicity practice
Legacy After the event Public Prefecture, Civil Protection, Municipalities Resilience Increased number of social media followers help to reach the public even after the event, when it is necessaryIn certain areas, increased use of technologyTesting the current safety and security mechanismsRegeneration and urban renewal Increased tourismVolunteer teams still active in case of large eventsSustainable use of the territory and event site, even after the eventImproved conditions, increased visibility, and increased supply conditions.

The key message for a successful mega-event is the “right people, right training and right sources at the right time!” (Interview with a fire brigade officer, June 2015, London)

Guidelines for planning of the event

Planning activities involve the definition of organizations and personnel, budget and timing. Choosing the right people according to skill requirements and keeping key people on major projects throughout the entire process is the key for a successful event.

Another issue is the budget estimation. Generally, the cost of the mega-events is underestimated and funding overestimated (House of Commons, 2007). Timing is also crucial, and a criterion that is difficult to meet. It is true that the roles/duties of all involved authorities/personnel are defined clearly and publicly.

However, as an official from the fire brigade mentioned, being able to improvise is necessary to be quick in decision making for a timely response to an incident (interview with a fire brigade officer, February 2015, Milan).

Guidelines for new constructions

Disaster risk reduction must be a part of all development and infrastructure system investments, to increase the resilience of the systems. There are the other issues, such as the new risk landscape, including terrorism, traffic jams and changing hazard conditions, that increase the vulnerability of cities and the multiple interaction patterns 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).

The maximum building rights, the negotiating criteria, and any specific requirements and rules should be defined in the plans for the areas of transformation, and they cannot go against the DRR plans. In the areas of transformation, the inclusion of public functions and disaster risk reduction features should always be allowed if the area is located in a disaster risk prone area.

Coordinated actions for development should consider sustainable use of the territory. It is crucial to consider in the plans the integration and enhancement of policies regarding cultural heritage, heritage, rural products and environmental and water resources.

Guidelines for training

A respondent from Milan mentioned that it is possible to solve every problem with the help of technology, which has zero cost in some of the cases; however, the problem is the involvement of humans in every system. Therefore, they conducted at least ten drills with a blind control station to test the communication mechanisms. Through training and test drills, they do not only test the system and learn what to do; they also know each other and build trust between officials from different organizations. Trust is the key to flexibility during collaboration and communication activities.

###Guidelines for better collaboration:

Indeed, mega-events are multi-organizational activities. Before all else, it is important to support the organization and operation activities with innovative IT tools. All the stakeholders involved with different temporal and spatial scales before, during, and after the event should be represented in the meetings and during the decision-making processes. The stakeholders should be grouped according to their target group and context.

Trust should be built before the event on vertical and horizontal levels between stakeholders. That helps to achieve an understandable, co-produced, shared and useful knowledge, and, most importantly, it helps to achieve flexibility when a decision has to be made rapidly. It is important to be in contact with actors from different practical backgrounds, such as academics, practitioners, and NGOs.

###Guidelines for better communication:

In the Milan EXPO 2015, the communication plan was established by considering the current plan. There is a communication system between municipality and province. Through the communication system, they deal with ordinary information. For emergencies, they have a communication protocol. The protocol has to be signed and filled in by prefecture and all the other related institutions. It is updated every 1.5 and 3 hours after inserting the information into the common platform. Then, a situation report is prepared according to the collected data.

The state of emergency declaration was via SMS, and the dissemination of warnings was via megaphones. Inside the EXPO area, the organizations have their own systems to warn people. Additionally, there was a connected video and radio communication system inside and outside the EXPO area.

The key message here is that with such big events, the huge amount of data is a challenge. If data arrives casually, it cannot help anyone. The data has to be filtered,

The key message here is that with such big events, the huge amount of data is a challenge. If data arrives casually, it cannot help anyone. The data has to be filtered, as no one has time to search for particular data in the huge amount of data overall.

Guidelines for the legacy achievement

Regarding the legacy, there are several issues, from an increased number of tourists to the introduction of advanced technology in certain areas. Also, the current safety and security mechanisms can be tested by hosting a mega event. Such events are also engines of urban developments and lead to regeneration and urban renewal in deprived areas. The key for the new construction areas is sustainable use of the territory and event site, even after the event. Moreover, the public should know more about the organizations and they can follow them through social media channels, which make it easy to reach them when it is necessary. Besides, in both cases, the volunteer teams are still active in case of necessity. A well-organized mega-event is helpful for the formation of human capital in the field of design, implementation and management of the event. If the social inclusion strategy is adapted during the implementation phase, the labour market can be adapted and allow access to those from a lower social status.

Mega-events also trigger tourism in the medium and long term; the numbers both from London and Milan prove this statement. The main reasons are improved conditions, increased visibility, and increased supply conditions.

Security aims London Case (Raine 2012)

Accompanying the heterogeneity of actors and agencies comprising the Olympic games security ensemble were a set of broad, diverse and dynamic operational priorities. In early 2012, these were outlined as: borders; transport; VIP protection; venue security; mitigating disruptive elements; intelligence of threats; disrupting those who pose a threat to the games; deploying resources and personnel effectively; maintaining effective command and control and coordination; ensuring parallel events are safe and secure; reassuring the public; obtaining effective support from informational partners.

Differences in the approaches, An Example from London

Suspicious package left at Stratford during the games

“The Met’s (Metropolitan Police) initial reaction was evacuate everyone and investigate the package. But there are 60 000 people going through here a day and that would have caused chaos. A BTP (British Transport Police) officer came over, took one look and said “It’s a box. Probably some journalist left it there.” There was no need to evacuate.” (Interview August 2012, in Fussey 2015)


Compass, Interreg Project EU, available at:

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