The Palace of Decorative Art is more a collection of pavilions than a single pavilion. Here, after the exhibitions of industrial and Japanese art, we find the Modern City.
The modern city, by whatever name it is called, is, as a result of the colossal development of public services, an organism which is becoming more complicated and more ingenious every day, like a delicate clockwork.
The street, first of all, with its complex problems of paving, passage, cleanliness, lighting, embellishment by flowerbeds, gardens and fountains. The subsoil, with the tangled network of drinking water, gas, electricity, sewage and pneumatic pipes, which extend and cross in all directions with their gigantic tentacles. Above ground, the air, with the network of telegraph, telephone and electric wires that must give our squares, seen from above, the appearance of monstrous spider webs.
Streets, water, lighting, power for industry and transport represent only the material, animal, shall we say, life of the modern city. The intelligence and the spirit claim their share with the Schools, schools of all kinds and degrees, from the Nursery Schools to the Polytechnics and the Universities, from the classical schools to the working and professional schools; with the Libraries, with the Museums, with the cult of the Fine Arts. After the spirit, the heart, the human solidarity, the defence of the health of citizens, which is the most precious wealth of cities and states, with Public Hygiene, with Hospitals, with Beggar's and Charity Shelters, up to the cult of the dead, honouring the memory of illustrious citizens to stimulate the latent energies of the new generations.
The simple enumeration of the infinitely complex services that modern life has imposed on our cities, creating budgets of dozens of millions, is enough to demonstrate the usefulness and the novelty of this special exhibition.
©Guide Officiel de l'Exposition Internationale de Turin 1911