The Øresund Region. Toward a new Social Identity


Essay, 2003
11 Pages, Grade: A

Free online reading

Introduction

The Øresund

The Øresund Identity Network

The construction of the Øresundsregionen: hardware

The barriers to integration

The construction of the Øresundsregionen: software

The question of identity

Bibliography

Introduction

“With the building of the bridge between Copenhagen, Denmark and Malmö, Sweden, water ceased to be a barrier. Sjæland and Skåne are linked.

New opportunities are opened. Two countries are brought together in one region. Øresund is born. The youngest generations in both cities will grow up not as two separate peoples, but as citizens of one and the same Region.”

(From the speech held by both mayors of Malmö Ilmar Reepalu and Copenhagen Jens Kramer Mikkelsen in occasion of the opening of the Øresund fixed link July 1st 2000)

How the creation of one Region: “Øresundsregionen” can influence the sense of identity of two nations: Denmark and Sweden? What tools the Danish and Swedish governments are using to achieve integration? Is it necessary to be the same to share the same identity? What does identity mean today?

The Øresund

The Øresund Region represents the first European experiment of integration between two States based on marketing, economy and infrastructures.

The area comprises the Danish islands of Sjæland, Lolland Falster, Bornholm and Skåne County in Sweden, and covers 20,000 square kilometers.

3.5 million residents live here, 300,000 of who are expatriates.

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Image by Wolff Olins

A major role in the construction of this region is played by the realization of a fixed link opened July 1st 2000. Europe’s longest bridge (16 kilometers) reduces the distance between the Danish capital Copenhagen and Sweden’s third largest city Malmö from 45 to 10 minutes.

“No longer two separate peoples, Scanians and Zealanders will become citizens of the same Region, enjoying mutual benefits and opportunities”.[1]

The two billion dollar project was constructed only in four years and half. Today it stands as a symbol for the entire area: the symbol of the Scandinavian know-how.

The physical bridge-building has spurred on a large number of “mental” bridge-building projects, aimed at creating a new metropolis in Northern Europe on both sides of Øresund (the Sound’s Ear), which for centuries has been the frontier between Denmark and Sweden.

The many cross-border initiatives reflect a desire to develop a model for European integration. In this situation, the twin cities of Copenhagen and Malmö have taken on a special responsibility.

“A strong Øresund metropolis presupposes patient and trusting cooperation between many actors. Existing barriers must be demolished, prejudices overcome and daring demonstrated”.[2]

But something is not exactly going as it should be and the process of integration is getting longer and more difficult than it was expected: let’s try to examine the facts.

The Øresund Identity Network

One of the first steps in the process of integration was taken in 1998 with the constitution of the Øresund Identity Network office and the Øresund Committee.

“This latter was established to strengthen and make visible the role of the area both nationally and internationally, in order to create the basis for increased growth in the whole Øresund. The Committee has 32 members, of which 16 are nominated from the Danish side and 16 from the Swedish side. Thirty members represent the municipal and regional authorities in the area, while the remaining two are observers from the Danish and Swedish states.”[3]

[...]


[1] Bende Beenfeldt, Lars Brattberg, Dan Christensen, Hugo Marcussen and Göran Rosberg (ed.), 1999, OUR NEW REGION_VÅR NYA REGIONEN_VORES NYE REGIONEN, City of Copenhagen and City of Malmö Publishers (Part-financed by European Regional Development Fund, Interreg II- Øresund) page 152

[2] Bende Beenfeldt, Lars Brattberg, Dan Christensen, Hugo Marcussen and Göran Rosberg (ed.), 1999, OUR NEW REGION_VÅR NYA REGIONEN_VORES NYE REGIONEN, City of Copenhagen and City of Malmö Publishers (Part-financed by European Regional Development Fund, Interreg II- Øresund) page 148

[3] Bende Beenfeldt, Lars Brattberg, Dan Christensen, Hugo Marcussen and Göran Rosberg (ed.), 1999, OUR NEW REGION_VÅR NYA REGIONEN_VORES NYE REGIONEN, City of Copenhagen and City of Malmö Publishers (Part-financed by European Regional Development Fund, Interreg II- Øresund) page 152

11 of 11 pages

Details

Title
The Øresund Region. Toward a new Social Identity
College
Architectural Association School of Architecture
Course
Identity and social integration
Grade
A
Author
Year
2003
Pages
11
Catalog Number
V212645
ISBN (Book)
9783656437147
File size
771 KB
Language
English
Tags
region, social, identity
Quote paper
Massimo Santanicchia (Author), 2003, The Øresund Region. Toward a new Social Identity, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/212645

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