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Faces on the underground: the Metro5 project

14:33 27/09/2013

When commuters make use of Brussels’ metro, they move from place to place without seeing anything of what is lying over their heads above ground. The project Metro5: Moving People, Moving Stories is meant to change that. Spearheaded by the city’s transport minister Brigitte Grouwels, the project also wants to point to the power of diversity and its positive aspects in a multicultural city.

It focuses on metro line 5, the longest one in the city. It connects Herrmann-Debroux in the southeast to Erasme/Erasmus in the southwest. Students from the Brussels University College (HUB) and Sint-Lukas University College worked together to collect stories from the people who live near the line. The stories have been published in free newspapers that you can find in displays in all the stations along the line.

“This project shows that STIB/ MIVB is more than just transport, it’s a part of life, a piece of the city, and we’re proud of that,” says the company’s deputy CEO Kris Lauwers.

Metro line 5 crosses through the communes of Auderghem, Etterbeek, the City of Brussels, Molenbeek and Anderlecht. Every week, the residents living near two of the line’s 28 metro stations will be featured.

Readers can also find out about interesting walking and cycle routes in the neighbourhoods, encouraging them to step out of the metro and see what’s up those stairs. The newspapers will also be available in community centres, tourist offices and other public places.

There will be free bike tours, organised by Cactus&Co, a non-profit organisation that tries to get more people to explore Brussels by bike. There is a free mobile app (for Android) with more information.

Social and cultural activities are also planned in and around metro line 5. For more information and to share your thoughts, visit the event’s Facebook page.

A version of this article first appeared in Flanders Today

Written by Els Mertens