Wednesday, 19 February 2020
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E2 Forum Milano Lab with a high turnout

The organizers of the "E2 Forum Milano Lab" on 1 October in Milano were delighted to have a high turnout at the pre-conference for the forthcoming E2 Forum in 2020.

(Photo: © E2 Forum)

More than 150 entrepreneurs from the industry and press representatives attended the morning session. The E2 Forum Milano Lab conference was organized by Messe Frankfurt Italia and promoted by ANIE AssoAscensori, an association of elevator/lift manufacturers affiliated to ANIE (Federazione di ANIE).

The goal was to compare notes and exchange ideas on the "vertical horizons" of Asia and Europe, two areas of the world where vertical building design connects to the social context and urban fabric.


Angelo Fumagalli, President of ANIE AssoAscensori:
"Today's conference clearly showed that elevators and escalators are at the centre of a new ‘urban revolution’. On the one hand, vertical and horizontal mobility decisively contributes to the management of urban phenomena such as the high concentration of busy and fast-moving inhabitants of the rapidly growing cities of Asia; on the other, this form of mobility also makes the historical city centres of Europe and America available to all at a time when the ageing of the population requires the adoption of new housing and architectural standards.

The emergent scenario also encompasses another mega-trend that is common to both Europe and Asia, namely the rising demand for digitization and technological innovation as we move towards the realization of smart cities and buildings erected according to "Construction 4.0" specifications. In other words, we are moving into a time of smart and digitally connected elevators, which will form an integral part of the cities of the future.

Italy, however, poses a something of a paradox in that it has one of the largest number of elevators installed in the world – around one million – of which 55% have been in use for more than 30 years. From an authentically Business to Human perspective, therefore, the chief challenge for the industry is to renew the ageing stock of elevators in the country and thereby drive innovation, improve accessibility and assure greater safety for all."

Donald Wich, Managing Director of Messe Frankfurt Italia:
"By bringing together professionals from the industry, the programme of E2 Forum Milano Lab has proved effective at cultivating interesting discussions on how design and technological innovation can be combined to good effect. The themes covered in this year's Lab edition have steered discussions towards an international perspective, which concords strategically with the interests of the Messe Frankfurt Group as organizer of international meetings and conferences dedicated synergistic building design."

HandwerkProfessor Dario Trabucco of IUAV University of Venice and President of the E2 Forum Milano Scientific Committee:
"E2 Forum Milano Lab 2019 offered an important opportunity for the exchange of ideas among professionals from two complementary yet often non-conversant sectors: the world of elevator manufacturing and the larger world of architecture. Today we have heard ideas from two of the leading Italian architects of today, Alfonso Femia and Marco Piva, and from some of the potential leading lights of tomorrow, namely students from the University of Pavia, who are engaged in an unusual and sensitive project to design accessibility solutions (elevators, escalators, ramps) for a historic building.

The conference also included some in-depth discussions and expressions of concern both about the economic power that China already commands and about how demographic trends are likely only to strengthen its dominance in the future."

Situation of the elevator sector in Asia and Europe

In this regard, the contribution of the Italy-China Foundation (Fondazione Italia Cina) in its capacity as the scientific partner clarified some of the major trends in Asia with respect to urbanization, lifestyles and sustainability.

Francesco Boggio Ferraris, Director of the Permanent Training School of the Italy-China Foundation, observed: "China currently has 19 cities with more than 4 million inhabitants, 42 cities with between 2 and 4 million, and more than 100 with more than 1 million. By 2030-2035, over one billion people, around 70% of the Chinese population, will be living in approximately 600 cities, and the Chinese urban population will have increased by 350 million." Verticality should therefore destined to become a consolidated and identifying lifestyle feature of Chinese cities.

Roberto Zappa, President of ELA (European Lift Association) took stock of the situation of the elevator sector in Asia and Europe in his conference talk.

Castiglioni-Brugnatelli College Award

Riccardo Bonfanti and Francesko Mecoj won the "Castiglioni-Brugnatelli College Award for Accessibility Projects" available to students of the Faculty of Architectural Engineering of the University of Pavia.

The award-winning project, which is intended for inclusion on the university campus, is attentive to the different historical heritages of the university buildings, yet through its use of innovative technologies and materials, also makes a bold contemporaneous statement. Two projects, one presented by Angela Ernesta Araldi and Melissa Monastra, and the other by Laura Molignani and Martina Oneda, also merited special mention.

The proceedings of E2 Forum Milano Lab are available on the website:

The next edition of E2 Forum Milano will be held on 28 and 29 October 2020.

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