This is a part of the report from the project 'The regional development impact of the Öresund bridge'. The aim of that project is to study different consequences of the Öresund bridge concerning the development in the region, the development of methods for consequence analysis and to create a database for long-term evaluation. This report shows the results from interviews made with decision-makers from Denmark and Sweden.
When the Öresund bridge opened on 1st July 2000, it realised an old vision of a link between Denmark and Sweden and one step was taken towards creating the biggest urban region in Scandinavia. The development of the Öresundregion has not yet led to a region and this shows in the publication from OECD 'Territorial Review of Östersund'.
The centre of the Öresundregion is Copenhagen, which has 3% of the region's surface and one third of the total population, mostly aged in their thirties, and also a major part of the places of employment. At the same time there is a majority of the working population (53%) on the Danish side and the need for labour from the Swedish side is limited and therefore commuting is moderate.
The age structure of the working population will change in the near future and become a disadvantage for the Danish side, where the young population is lower than on the Swedish side. Then it can be expected that an increased integration will take place, through a growing demand for young Swedish labour in the head of the region. The housing costs are lower and there is less congestion on the Swedish side, which leads to a continued moving of Danish households, which would increase commuting.
The aim of this project is to illustrate the opinion of the industry, the households and the decision-makers concerning the consequences of the bridge when it comes to regional economy, geographical movement, transport development, the land use and environment.
A survey was done during the spring and summer 2000 with households and the industry, and decision makers were interviewed in both 2000 and two and a half years later, in the autumn and winter of 2002.
The original thought of this project was to collect this information before and after the opening of the bridge to be able to create a database for future use and to put attitudes and expectations against real changes, but the resources were not enough for this ambitious plan.
A survey was only made during the spring and summer 2000 with households and the industry and the decision makers were interviewed both in 2000 and two and a half year later, in the autumn and winter of 2002.
The questioning concerned knowledge, acting and expectations during a short and long period of time. Some of the answers showed:
- An evident effect from the decision of the opening of the bridge and an increased co-operation;
- Few people have made an efforts to learn more about the other side: a lack of knowledge was admitted;
- The language differences were not understood as a problem and the second survey showed an improvement in language skills;
- The knowledge of corresponding associations was good. The lack of knowledge among the public and the industry was a bigger problem. This was more obvious before the opening of the bridge.