Metrolab.brussels is a laboratory dedicated to applied and critical urban research, headed by an academic consortium that includes teams from UCLouvain (CriDIS - urban sociology - and LOCI - urban planning) and ULB (IGEAT - geography and environment - and LoUIsE - urbanism), with funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Through its research activities, Metrolab aims to provide insight into the issues that Brussels is experiencing as a large city, and stimulate innovation by searching for links between the ERDF 2014-2020 programming period and the actual conditions on the ground. It also intends to provide a space where academic researchers and people involved in urban planning in Brussels can come together and engage with one another. To this end, Metrolab offers three types of activity: regular series of seminars, research/ action initiatives in partnership with Brussels organisations working on urban issues, and - every two years - an international exchange programme that includes a MasterClass and a conference on a specific topic.
Metrolab Brussels' scientific program is structured by three main axes of research - urban inclusion, urban ecology, urban production - which correspond roughly to the social, environmental and economic dimensions of sustainable urban development. On a temporal level, these axes of research form also three successive cycles of work.
2016-2017, MLB researchers focused on issues and events related to urban inclusion.
2017-2018 was centered on urban ecology and the more specific topic of Brussels Ecosystems. A public conference and a MasterClass were organised. In 2019-2020, the project tackles urban projection and LoUiSe Metrolab members are involved into the organisation of a conference and a MasterClass, which results will be published later this year.
As part of LoUisE, Benoit Moritz and Geoffrey Grulois are involved as academic coordinators and Marco Ranzato is a scientific coordinator (postdoc). Andrea Bortolotti and Pauline Varloteaux are PhD researchers and Louise Prouteau is administrative manager. Louise Carlier joined in 2021 as a scientific coordinator (postdoc)