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 Building with Nature Guideline > Projects > Governance for sustainability - Oresund Fixed Link, DK

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Governance for sustainability - Øresund Fixed Link, DK


Title: Governance for sustainability - Øresund Fixed Link (DK)
Location: Øresund (Sweden - Denmark)
Date: 1991 - 2000
Involved parties: See figure under 'Initiation - Governance context' for all parties involved

Technology Readiness Level: 9 (project successfully completed)
Environments: Estuaries
Keywords: Tunnel, Bridge, Artificial island, Environmental monitoring, Feedback monitoring, Design and construct

The Danish and Swedish governments decided in 1991 to build a fixed link, between Denmark (Copenhagen) and Sweden (Malmö) crossing the Øresund (the Sound), consisting of a tunnel, an island and a bridge. Two environmental concerns associated with the establishment of the link were identified:

  • The link itself could affect the water and salt flow through the Øresund and into and out of the Baltic Sea, leading to reduction of fish catches, and affecting other biological systems in the Baltic Sea.
  • Sediment spill during construction work could affect sensitive receivers such as mussels, sea grass and eiders.

An International Expert Panel, advising the Danish and Swedish governments, was formed to design mitigation strategies to avoid negative environmental impacts. The proponent was the Øresundskonsortiet, owned jointly by the Danish and Swedish Governments.

During construction works an intensive environmental monitoring program was implemented, among which a so-called feedback monitoring system. Its aim was to ensure the earliest possible intervention whenever there was a risk of environmental norms being exceeded.



Project Objective

The project aims at improving transport connections between Sweden and Denmark and thereby strengthening cultural and economic co-operation. The Fixed Link across the Øresund is expected to stimulate the development of a joint labour and housing market at each side of Øresund. In short the link is expected to further the integration of the Øresund Region, paving the way for successful competition with Europe's other regional centres.

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Planning and design

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During the construction phase the open communication between Øresundskonsortiet and Contractor(s), while still strict contractual and environemtla regulations were adhered to, demonstrated to be a very essential part in obtaining the project's objectives.  

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Operation and Maintenance

The clear environmental targets set during design- and construction phases, incorporating long-term objectives, enabled a nearly immediate recovery of the ecosystem.

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Lessons Learned

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