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Concrete transnationalism?

Bridge building in the new economy

Orvar Löfgren

In 2000 the bridge across Öresund linking Denmark and Sweden was finally opened. The bridge may appear as a classic, modernist piece of planning and technology, but the actual construction of the bridge coincided with the boom years of 'the new economy'. The ways in which the construction was organized and staged very much came to mirror some important trends of that new economy, including many of its buzz words. Over the years it became more and more unclear what actually was going on: a bridge construction or EU-invocations of a future transnational metropolis. This bridge project was densely inhabited by visions, dreams and expectations: there was so much this bridge could do. The article follows the various stages of the bridge project, from early dreams and plans, over the actual construction phase, to the grand opening ceremonies and finally the difficult transition into an everyday transport machine. I discuss the ways in which engineering and imagineering became intertwined and also how a transnational project like this made the nation state more visible and tangible.

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Mette Louise Berg, Hülya Demirdirek, Albert Doja, Leyla J. Keough, Orvar Löfgren, Kacper Pobłocki, Peter Skalník, Gavin Smith, Banu Nilgün Uygun, Katherine Verdery and Judith Whitehead

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