The gates of paradise are open

written by:

Wojciech Keblowski

We’re delighted to share a new publication emerging from LiFT. Louise Sträuli and Wojciech Kębłowski wrote together an article published in Urban Studies titled ‘The gates of paradise are open’: Contesting and producing publicness in the Brussels metro through fare evasion.

Drawing on the example of the metro in Brussels, it examines public transport as a public space. Louise and Wojciech uncover how the conception of the metro and its fare system reflects an idealisation of public transport that conflicts with the daily experiences and structural inequalities among its users, manifested, in part, in fare evasion. They explore this practice through qualitative interviews, observational studies and analysis of online evader platforms. In contrast with existing research, the article recognises fare evasion as a complex practice that challenges and shapes the publicness of public transport through knowledge exchange, solidarity building, social encounters and a redefinition of social norms.

The article can be accessed free of charge on the journal’s website.