The Italian Almanac

Europolis fair

Italian News - February 2

The latest technological and urban design developments which will help make our cities better places to live in are currently on show in Bologna. The Europolis fair seeks both to give a vision of the metropolis of the future and provide a showcase for new products that can make life easier for city-dwellers today. It is aimed primarily at local authority managers, but is also attracting engineers, architects, university lecturers, transport network operators and other professionals.

"There are solutions of enormous interest for city services here," said Emilia Romagna Regional Industry Councillor Duccio Campagnoli. "These are important from an economic point of view, but also in terms of improved services for citizens. "The art of furnishing the city has become important and the Bologna fair is now a key event for this speciality."

Among the new products on display are talking benches that inform people at stations and airports when a flight or train is delayed, and special systems for pre-paid electronic public transport tickets. These enable people to climb aboard buses and trams without the driver having to take their money or check their tickets. This saves time and should help make transport services much more punctual. A selection of innovative park games which disabled and able-bodied children can play on is also likely to catch the eye of enlightened town councils.

The trade fair part is split into various sections. There is an area for urban furnishings - benches, telephones boxes, bush shelters and so on - as well as sections for traffic and transport, green areas and parks, sports facilities and public utilities. Over 380 exhibitors are showing their wares and organizers expect to attract more than the 43,000 visitors who came to the 2004 show.

The eighth edition of Europolis runs until Saturday.