CPH-Malmø:Competitors or Collaborators?

During the last ten years a lot of things has happened cross the border between Denmark and Sweden. The Øresund Bridge was made and Copenhagen airport expanded which Sweden also benefited from. All of this made the cooperation between the two countries much stronger.


By: Karoline V. M. Hansen


The infrastructure is crucial to the development that the Øresund region has been going through. A development that politicians on both side of the sea are welcoming.


“There is no doubt, that the expanding of Copenhagen Airport and the construction of Ørestad has strengthened the cooperation between Denmark and Sweden,” says Anders Rubin, deputy mayor in Malmø.


“We are 600 kilometers from Stockholm and our capital. But because of the bridge we’re suddenly only seven kilometers from the Danish capital, Copenhagen,” Rubin says and the Danish mayor of Technical and Environmental Administration agrees.


“The two countries are much closer now because of the direct trains between Ørestad and Sweden. A lot of people are crossing the sea every day and it is strengthening the growth in the region,” says Bo Asmus Kjeldsgaard mayor of the Technical and Environmental Administration in Copenhagen, and makes it clear, that they would like to have an even better cooperation between the two sides of the sea, because both countries would benefit of it.


Anders Rubin can definitely feel the growth on the Swedish side of Øresund. Back in time the Malmø region always did worse than the rest of Sweden. But now it’s the other way around. When Sweden is doing good, the Malmø region is doing even better. And when it is all bad in Sweden, it is never that bad in the region. But Rubin also thinks that Copenhagen benefit a lot from this cooperation cross borders.


“Copenhagen are competing against Stockholm, Berlin and Hamburg and it hasn’t really been possible for the city to increase the growth. But when you integrate the airport as the centre between the two countries then we are suddenly able to compete on an international level because we are much stronger together,” Anders Rubin says.

Hotel Bella in Ørestad is leaning 15 degrees. The leaning tower of Pisa is only leaning 4 degrees. This hotel is one of the symbols of Ørestad. Photo: Karoline V. M. Hansen


Still competitors

But of course the cooperation is not a bed of roses. Even though they are dependent on each other in the matter of growth – the two countries are still competing. Especially when it comes to the new city on the Danish side Ørestad and the new city at the Swedish side called Hyllie.


These two cities are very similar. Ørestad has the metro while Hyllie has the city tunnel that goes straight to Malmø. Both cities have a big shopping mall. Hyllie has a multi arena and Ørestad is going to have one as well. Both cities are able to have very big companies situated in very big houses.


But the managing director of CPH City and Harbour development Jens Kramer Mikkelsen hopes that the two urban areas can create a synergy.


“Then we will have the potential to attract interesting companies even though we are competitors,” Kramer says.


And at the Danish side they can rejoice a little bit because they are a slight step ahead of the Swedish. The area around Hyllie is developed that much yet because they were waiting for the city tunnel to be opened.


But the Swedish doesn’t see it as a lost battle. They look at their competitors and collaborator on the other side of Øresund and are able to do things different – things that they don’t like about Ørestad.

“To be honest we think, that the scale that Ørestad has been build in is to big. Ørestad is too big. It is not very human and there is a lack of life in the area,” Anders Rubin says and continues:

The shopping mall Field's is the biggest mall in Denmark and is situated in the middle of Ørestad City just next to the metro. Photo: Karoline V. M. Hansen


“They have a lot of very nice buildings, but it is also an area where the structure isn’t that good. That’s why we’re know building smaller buildings and at the same time more.”


This is exactly the solution that the Danish landscape architect Jacob Kamp is suggestion in the matter of bringing more life to Ørestad. But Jens Kramer Mikkelsen wouldn’t change a thing and strikes back at the Swedish.


“They have a shopping mall that is bigger than Field’s, huge office buildings and an arena that we don’t even have yet, so they have big scale buildings as well. We thought big, when we planned this. It’s not supposed to be some kind of tiny romantic city,” Kramer says.



Read about what the companies situated in Ørestad and the people living there thinks about the city right here.

Read about some of the criticism about Ørestad right here.



About Karoline V. M. Hansen