The Öresund or Øresund Bridge is a double-track railway and dual carriageway bridge-tunnel,that stretches across the Øresund strait between Scania (southernmost Sweden) and Denmark. A part of the Bridge is above water and it runs nearly 8 km from the Swedish coast to the artificial island of Peberholm. The remaining part of the Bridge is a tunnel of 4 km from Peberholm to the Danish island of Amager. The Øresund Bridge is the longest combined road and rail bridge in Europe.
- In the early 1990’s, the economical development, growth and outlook in Denmark and Sweden was significantly lower than the rest of Europe. This was influenced by the worst economic crisis in Sweden since the 1930s.
- The capital of Denmark , Copenhagen, was economically cut off from the rest of the country.
- During the mid 1970’s, Sweden entered an economic recession. Shipyards and manufacturing industries suffered greatly. In Malmo, the Kockums shipyard, a prosperous and economic symbol for the city, closed in 1986.
- There has been several studies that placed emphasis on the lack of integration between the Swedish and Danish economies.
- The ecological connection between the Baltic Sea and The North Sea was highly important for salt concentration and the water quality of the Baltic Sea.
- Create an international region around Øresund which is capable of competing with the largest and most advanced regions in Northern Europe.
- Strengthen the economic identity between the two countries.
- Reorientation and the expansion of the Danish Economy, economically and politically, towards Sweden.
- Short distance between both countries, Denmark and Sweden.
- Both countries belong to the trans European network.
- Two middle size economic regions, within a distance of 20 km to each other, which were barely integrated and had contrasting economic profiles.
- The two countries were connected together through a physical link, Øresund Bridge.
- Both countries mutually founded one company to supervise the whole project.
- Toll charges were placed on the bridge for each vehicle. This was enforced to cover the construction and operating costs of the entire project.
- An environmental impact assessment was integrated in the initial stages of the project, to avoid any big changes or environmental activist protests at a later stage.
- Connect both countries, creating a new economical scale.
- All actions have been taken with respect to land-use development and linking the city transport network to the access links at the Øresund Bridge.
- In 1968, the intergovernmental agreement was signed.
- The European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT) proposed and worked for improvements to the European transport infrastructure network. (1980’s) One of ERT’s proposals included the fixed link across the Øresund.
- In 1994, final permissions were granted for the project after Sweden had solved its political issues. By this time, the construction of parts of the access routes on the Danish side was already well underway.
- The Oresund Bridge had delivered evidence that ‘spatial distance does not matter, cultural and institutional distance does.’
- The Øresund Bridge had a huge impact on the travelling time between the two countries, decreasing it considerably to a travelling time of 35 minutes by train.
- Copenhagen and Malmö became one combined labour and housing market, creating new opportunities for both.
- Institutional barriers originating in different tax, employment and the welfare systems in the two countries was underestimated and had impeded regional and economic integration.
- Long term effects on the ecological system are still unclear.