IGU Urban Commission, Canterbury, 2011
Christian Wichmann Matthiessen
University of Copenhagen
The Fehmarnbelt tunnel: Regional development perspectives
The European Round Table of Industrialists identified in the 1980ies 14 missing links in the transportation network of the continent. Three of them were found around the Danish island of Zealand. One link is within the nation, the other two are between nations. One link connects heavy economic centres, one joins more thinly populated regions, and the last one links peripheral areas. Two of them (The Great Belt Link and the Oresund Link) have been constructed and are in full operation. The third (the Fehmarnbelt Link) has been decided 2008 on bilateral government level. The three links are impressive mega structures spanning international waterways. Their lengths are around 20 km (12 mi) each. They concentrate traffic flows and create strong transport corridors. They are the basis of new regional development regimes. “Ferries connect systems, fixed links unite systems”.
The fixed link closes a gap between the Scandinavian and European motorway and rail networks, which eliminate a 160 km. detour for freight trains via the Great Belt and will cut one hour of transport time between Hamburg and Copenhagen for road and passenger railroad traffic. This will create a strong transport corridor between the Øresund region in Denmark/Sweden and Hamburg in Germany, allowing a new greater and more competitive region – the Fehmarnbelt region – to emerge. New trading opportunities, new forms of tourism, new jobs and new housing opportunities will arise. In turn, this will open up new regional development perspectives for the entire Fehmarnbelt region.
The paper is a summary of Matthiessen, C. W. & M. Worm (eds.2011): “The Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link: Regional Development Perspectives.” 440 pages. University Press of Southern Denmark. For documentation go to the original book.