THIS IS EUROPE
in its new shape
Let us create a network of peace
by harmonizing the European railways.
metropa is an art and peace project that shows Europe as an entity on multiple layers; it anticipates the idea of a pan-European metro network system that interconnects all of its citizens and visitors, regions and metropolitan areas – without the borders within.
metropa presents a european future where all ecological, economical, technical and political questions are answered and transformed into a viable comprehension of what could be, at times, the Federal Republic of Europe.
metropa is the junction of all of these topics: mobility, climate change awareness, European integration and migration. Its clear and simple imagery speaks to the people like a current map of any subway in any possible city in Europe. It makes people believe that it is already true. And the more people see it, the more the pressure grows on the people in charge – the EU, the companies, the heads of governments.
metropa is a vision of Europe as it could be in a few decades – an everyday graphic that shows Europe as a city, as a metropolis: usable by all, extensive and universal. And though we all know that it probably won’t look like this and that it will take some decades or more, metropa is designed as a vision and as a target of our efforts.
mobility is a fundamental human right, and metropa is the vehicle that carries the complex idea of the European unification process out of the meeting rooms of EU bureaucracy into the centre of pan-European society. And mind-travelling becomes the best way to open up the importance of Europe to people.
Europe needs is a common myth. A narrative that unites all of us and whose benefits are clear to all. metropa is a glimpse into the everyday life of the future. Bringing this picture home to all Europeans, explaining it, discussing it, will get us the story that is necessary to anchor the European idea in consciousness and the subconscious.
Thus, metropa is a contribution to overcome the current crisis and to make Europe as we all want it: an open, strong continent that preserves its achievements and does not shy away from innovation. A continent in fruitful competition with others – an inspiration and fascination for its visitors – and pride of its inhabitants.
metropa is a non-profit project with a growing number of fans, supporters and contributors. We see the whole project and our commitment to it as a contribution to an open discussion about Europe and its future. Though non-profit, this enterprise costs a lot of time and a little money, too.
So if you want to support us in our work, you can
• write us an email for the mailing list,
• install a metropa-branch in your city,
• buy a product,
• donate to the account of our association (see legal notice)
You can of course also do all of these… We're looking forward for your help!
That's how – in a way – metropa would look like if it has the borders included. Beautiful, isn't it?
Here, all articles (self written or quotes), speeches and other contributions are listed, in chronological order.
"Europe is in a process of change. Another "old time" is drawing to a close - politically, economically, socially. We stand in front of precipices and steep walls. Both can be uplifting. […]"
The impact on the public, especially for the latter, was tremendous. It had lots of reposts on social media and almost 700 comments underneath, among them some main objections:
• European nationalism will prevent metropa to be built
• high speed public transport is not necessary
• technically impossible
• lack of expertise
We really appreciate serious critique. It is important for us to sharpen our arguments and to learn.
But what is more important: The comments prove that the majority embraces the idea and understands that it is nothing else than a suggestion.
Future will definitely look different. Depending on who is going to be its designers.
held @ University St. Gallen, Oct 5th 2021
"…during my studies I've often read about the famous Library of St. Gallen, because the "St. Gallen neumes" have been invented there– a mnemonic milestone. It allowed the monks to write down what they sang – and to repeat what they wrote. It was one of the first attempts of musical recording and marked a step into the Modern Times, though they have not even started with their own Age […]"
--> [full text in German]
held @ TEDxDanubia, Sept 20th 2021
"Good afternoon everybody, and thank you for the introduction and invitation!
As mentioned, I come from Vienna and originally from Bavaria, which is both basically next door to here – but it sometimes it feels as if we were oceans away. As if we lived on different planets, or: different continents.
And this is exactly what I am talking about here: We should start again to talk BECAUSE we are living on the same continent, sitting in the same boat: because we are NEIGHBOURS…"
--> [full text in English]
held @ LAST MINUTE Festival, Rosenheim, , July 31st 2021
"What is metropa?
In order to tell you that, I would first like to go into the history of its origins. I designed METROPA about 11 years ago out of a sudden idea; it simply appealed to me. It was conceived on a trip to Hungary together with a friend who bought a small farmhouse there in the hinterland…
Public transport: growth at all costs? (Der Öffentliche Verkehr: Wachstum um jeden Preis?)
© Prof. Dr. Oliver Schwedes, head of department of Integrative Transport Planning/TU Berlin:
"With automobiles getting at large at the beginning of the 20th century, the course for public transport was set in Europe and the USA at the same time. When the private transport companies competing with the car got into an economic crisis, the political leaders in Europe made a decision to afford publicly financed transport in order to guarantee everybody a minimum level of mobility. In contrast, the motto in the USA was, already back then, that public transport is only good if it asserts itself on the market - ' the market knows best '!" [...]
--> (full text in German)
– an essay –
© Prof. Dr. Jörg Metelmann, University of St.Gallen/CH
"Metropa – the vision of a European superfast train network acts on both the body and soul. It is a joyful experience to look at this map, and it is much more. The imagining of such transit also allows for an energy to deal with the issue in a different way than the Commission in Brussels or the transportation ministries would – in other words, different to that which is technically sound, stuck in the status-quo, and lobby-driven. […]"
Here's a wonderful radio programme (in German) by Hellmuth Nordwig of the Bayrischer Rundfunk about the future of public transport.
I met him at Munich Hauptbahnhof – couldn't be a better choice – during a short stopover on my trip to St. Gallen. We talked a lot about european integration and smart transportation systems, and we agreed that the first can be easily triggered by the latter.
That is exactly what metropa is about.
The Austrian newspaper Der Standard with its famous online-forum published the guest commentary on december 9th, wisely embedded in a series of traffic-related topics and with a tremendous mass of reactions (see chapter before).
My text contribution in the German Tagespiegel online edition about the need for a completely new setup of european railway networks:
In the lobby of the TEDxDanubia (see below) venue this interview has been made with the Hungarian online news magazine Szeretleg Magyarorszag (in case you're fond of Hungarian – a very beautiful language).
METROPA-keynote N°2 on Sep 20th in Budapest @ TEDxDanubia
A short ride through the vision of a borderless Europe and the necessity of change. You can see the video above.
first METROPA-keynote, July 31st at the LAST MINUTE Festival, Rosenheim
Talking about the starts of METROPA and some ideas to be deduced from it:
• communization of traffic (and other fields)
• mobility as a human right
• integral ecological empathy
• arts in complex decision making
• Europe's outstanding responsability
The Austrian Traffic/Transportation Association VCÖ has issued a super cool article in its latest magazine edition, where metropa serves as a blueprint of a borderless and well connected Europe – which, sadly, does not exist. Not yet, we say.
Thanks for the article! --> https://www.vcoe.at/news/details/das-rueckgrat-der-klimavertraeglichen-verkehrswende
– Postcards for Brussels –
We sent postcards to 750 members of the European Parliament and the European Commission, all lettered and painted by hundreds of european schoolkids and directly addressed to the deputies. Here are some of them:
The European Democracy Lab launched a fantastic podcast series about the future of Europe. We contributed to one, thanks for the invitation!
Interview with the Bolzano-based biligual online newspaper SALTO
On swiss TV emission Sternstunde Philosophie Jörg Metelmann introduced METROPA as perfect example (from 44:30, in German).
This is from former Belgian Prime Minister and now MEP Guy Verhofstadt:
"This is utopian, of course, a wider European region as interconnected as a metropolitan city... But if 25 years ago they had told you you’d soon be able to look up every piece of information imaginable on a portable phone the size of a wallet, and talk to your watch if you had a message to instantly send your friend on the other side of the world, you would not have called it utopian... but ridiculous."
Anyway, thanks Guy for not mentioning neither source nor authorship. Pretty awkward move of a prominent member of the EU Parliament, being proud of its intellectual property laws.
America voted – this is our contribution.
Alike metropa, metromerica stands for the idea of connections instead of boundaries, for the dialogue and exchange among classes, races, mindsets. So let's mindtravel across the map and meet each other in peace and openness!
metropa is part of the online exhibition "Net works". Enter here the exhibition rooms.
Together with 200 young people at the Brandenburger Jugendkulturtage in Blossin/Germany we started the "Postcards for Brussels"-campaign (see above).
metropa in the FALTER (Vienna), 23.9.2020 (preview)
"If Europe was a gigantic metropole…"
Since September, metropa posters and postcards are available in every book store, published by Freitag&Berndt/Vienna.
A1 posters: ISBN 978-3-7079-1911-0
A2 posters: ISBN 978-3-7079-1880-9
postcards: ISBN 978-3-7079-1879-3
first public viewing on wall in Landlmühle/Bavaria at the "3 Tage – 4 Filme"-Festival of the Kulturklub Rosenheim, after the first showcase of the background-animation (which you can see also on this website).
An interview for the Visionaries-Videoblog by Leodreams about our vision of metropa:
Article (in German) in the PrivatBahn-Magazin, an international b2b mag for railway transportation and traffic (by Dennis Tesch):
An interview in the FuturZwei-Magazine! With a postcard in every copy!
A short but enthousiastic article about metropa in the Irish Times by Derek Scally.
Great article in the Fairplanet online magazine, written by Frank Odenthal:
An article in the german "good-news"-paper newslichter:
"Just right now, we need bold visions if our world is to get better. When it comes to mobility, the metropa project – a Europe-wide superfast train network – is one of them."
Italian Internazionale KIDS magazine published metropa as a centrefold.
metropa on the "Großformat" in the Sueddeutsche Zeitung:
post on linkedIn : 3500 views, hundreds of comments.
Vienna's ex-vice-mayor posted on facebook on Dec, 12 : 4000 views, 950 likes, 360 shares, 160 comments
post on reddit : 1000 comments, 11k views, millions of ideas.
reprint in "What is the Nation?" ("Was ist die Nation?, Steidl Verlag, Göttingen, 2019) by Ulrike Guérot.
Responsible for content / rightsholder:
Stefan Frankenberger, studio77
Verein zur Erhaltung des Guten Tons / society77
1020 Vienna, Austria
The metropa network map is a registered and protected trademark under european law. Any unauthorized use will be brought to court.
Bank account for donations
IBAN: AT23 1420 0200 1097 9634
Account owner: VEREIN ZUR ERHALTUNG DES GUTEN TONS
[animation made by Brandstaetter Foundation/www.brandstaetter-foundation.com]