03.07.2020 Luca Locatelli

GF30mmF3.5 with Luca Locatelli

Luca Locatelli

Luca Locatelli is an Italian visual story teller, focused on photography and multimedia contents.
His work focuses on the interactions between culture, science and the environment, and revolves
around the “making” of the future and the role that sustainable technologies play in it.
As part of his practice, Locatelli often collaborates with journalists, researchers and specialists in
order to further contextualise and enrich his visual research.
Luca is a National Geographic Magazine photographer and frequently contributes to The New
York Times Magazine, Time, The New Yorker, Bloomberg Businessweek, Wired, Smithsonian,
Stern, Geo France, Geo Germany and Sunday Times Magazine among others.
His works have been exhibited extensively around the world and awarded by international prizes
such as the Aftermath Grant 2014, Nannen Prize 2017, World Press Photo Award 2018 –
Environment and World Photography Organization 2018 – Landscape

Milan Green Future

Humanity is booming. Today, around 55 percent of the world’s population, nearly 4 billion people, is thought to be living in an urban area or city, with that figure set to rise to 68 percent over the coming decades.

The challenges that this presents are unprecedented, and the world’s largest and busiest cities are adopting different strategies to cope with these new obstacles.

In the past years I have been embarked on a project called ‘Green Gentrification’ on Cities of the Future, concerning some of the urban areas leading innovation and tackling issues such as overpopulation and climate change, each in their own way masters and examples for the whole world.

A megalopolis with clean air and a green attitude applied in its architectures, Singapore struck me with its Asian pragmatism and its lofty plans to become a garden city.

Dubai, on the other hand, promises to become the world’s greenest city by 2050, with impressive goals in terms of the reduction of emissions and becoming less dependant on fossil fuels. A true challenge for a booming oil-based economy in the middle of the desert.

While London, an ever growing city managing the threat of climate change and overpopulation, is working hard to maintain a balance between green spaces, new neighbourhoods, and the risks of flooding caused by its main artery, the river Thames.

When it came to portray a new city, I decided to dedicate a project to my hometown, Milan.

Milan underwent dramatic changes especially with the occasion of EXPO in 2015. Being the design, fashion, industrial and financial capital of Italy, it is forecasted to become one of the leading cities in Europe in innovation and sustainability.

Green examples recognised worldwide such as the Bosco Verticale—Vertical Forest— development aim to project Milan as a city committed on a global scale to take action towards climate change and a more eco-friendly living.

However, Milan has been subjected to a strictly enforced lockdown for two months in 2020, with imposed quarantine measures that the population embraced under the “#stayathome” movement. In May, the city is blooming and quarantine is being lifted, bringing people in the parks and to truly enjoy Milan once again.

I wanted my story on Milan to portray and document this green movement traversing the city and its architectures. The new GF 30 mm lens was the perfect match to this mix of street and architecture shooting. It is a wide angle, comparable in its field of view to 24mm in 35mm standards, enriched by the power of a medium format camera and it inspired me to compose my frame closer the architectures and make people just a presence.

The sunshine and spring air cocoon me as I take photos around the city.

A sort of suspension in our ambitions for the future is palpable in the air. It is as if this occasion made us realise the importance of being in touch with nature, with freedom, with people.

Hopefully we will all understand how important it is to re-establish a balance between our own well being and the health of our planet— a limit we should never cross again.