It is history that has called Bologna a welcoming city, home to the world’s oldest university, founded in 1088, and the Liber Paradisus, a book containing the law introduced by the City of Bologna in 1256 abolishing slavery and freeing the serfs.

It is geography that establishes its strategic position halfway between north and south.

It is only natural that the word “laboratory” should be a part of Bologna’s heritage.

The ‘70s were a lively time for the city, seeing the foundation of DAMS, the inauguration of the Modern Art Gallery and the construction of Kenzo Tange’s office district.

Trade fairs became increasingly specialised, and the one focusing on ceramics for the construction industry grew to international prominence, with the participation of administrators, entrepreneurs and the community as a whole.

At the 1972 ceramics trade fair, 26 artists brought their work to Piazza Santo Stefano in an act of accusation of pollution. The intention was to draw everyone’s attention to what would later be referred to as the theory of “ecological fraud”.

46 years later, the same company, the Iris Ceramica Group, brings the theme back to the attention of today’s young people, who are undeniably more aware of the issue. And once again it does so in Bologna, during Cersaie, entrusting the reflection to a group of young architects admitted to the SOS School of Sustainability post-graduate school.

The institution aims to prepare new graduates and emerging professionals to face the great challenges of the future in a creative way, developing innovative projects that will have a positive impact on society, the economy and the environment through a new model of integrated design, professional practice and research.

Pollution 2018 takes place in Bologna, a city that stands out for its adoption of policies and measures for the creation of sustainable urban environments. This is the meaning of the climatic adaptation plan promulgated by Bologna’s city government, a response to the challenges of sustainability that great urban centres find themselves facing today.