Don’t burn down a bridge you may me need to cross one day, sages advise. Both Swedish and Danish politicians seem to have fully processed the message.
The Øresund Bridge, built in 1995, connects Denmark’s capital city, Copenhagen, to Malmö, Sweden’s third largest city. This structural masterpiece supplies many benefits, including the ability to live in one city (or country) and work in the other. Copenhagen, a larger, more hectic city than Malmö, is ideal for those who wish to work in a fast-paced global environment. After a long day spent amidst glorious boulevards, an unparalleled bike culture, world-class eateries, and cutting-edge fashion, one can choose to cross the bridge to Malmo and return to relative peace and a lower cost of living.
In BBC’s World Business Report, a podcast, the bridge is portrayed as much more than just another crossing. It is a destiny shifter. The report discusses the life of a woman who works as an IT company’s managing director. She indicates that her career would have been limited in Sweden but for the bridge and would likely have necessitated a move to Stockholm. The bridge allows residents to cross into Copenhagen in 34 minutes by train or 10 by car. This compares to the prior one-hour commute associated with the journey by ferry.
The result has been a surge in commuting activity to Copenhagen, from 6,000/weekday pre-bridge to 16,000/weekday today. For Malmo, it has been a bridge to opportunity. The bridge has helped to transform a city that has struggled economically and sustained relatively elevated levels of unemployment. A number of companies have relocated their regional headquarters into less expensive, previously under-utilized Malmo buildings. The bridge stands for the proposition that linking people more firmly and more permanently together inures to the benefit of the many.
Picture: Soerfm [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons