The ’hygge’ bridge in Denmark

Growth Across Water – Creating New Life to Storstrømsbroen

About Denmark

Denmark is a fairy-tale kingdom connecting the European continent with other Scandinavian countries. Denmark has more than 7.300 kilometers of coastline with some of Europe’s best beaches. Denmark is a regal nation full of castles, manor houses and formal gardens where you can get up close to Danish royalty of the past and present.

Denmark is the ultimate safe and easy cycle touring experience with more than 12.000 kilometers of signposted bike routes, gentle terrain, inspirational nature and short distances between amenities.

Denmark is a place full of great fun; including its capital of Copenhagen with Tivoli Garden and Nyhavn, but also found in the many bigger and smaller cities and townships across Denmark.

Bridges, tunnels and ferries ensure connectivity within Denmark. A bridge already connects Denmark and Sweden; a tunnel between Denmark and Germany is soon to start construction.

About Storstrømsbroen

Storstrømsbroen (meaning Big Stream Bridge) was opened by King Christian X on his birthday September 26th 1937. The bridge is some 100 kilometers south of Copenhagen and connects South Zealand with the rustic islands of Falster, Møn and Lolland.

From the southern tip of Lolland, a ferry service currently connects Denmark with northern Germany from where the future tunnel will be built. The huge infrastructure project will upgrade rail- and motorways while significantly reducing travel time between Copenhagen and Hamburg; and any city in between. It entails the construction of a new Storstrømsbro and destruction of the existing bridge.

The opportunity is to give the existing Storstrømsbro a new life as the ‘hygge’ bridge (look below for a definition of hygge); creating business growth across the water and exploring local produced products and services whilst delivering a new global tourist attraction.

Storstrømsbroen is across Storstrømmen; just about 100 kilometers south of Copenhagen.

The travel time by rail from Copenhagen to Vordingborg with the upgraded railway will be reduced from 1 hour and 10 minutes to about 40 minutes; placing the ‘hygge’ bridge about halfway between Copenhagen and Hamburg.

The ideas for giving Storstrømsbroen a new life as the ‘hygge’ bridge are many; highlights include:

• Accommodation on the bridge – hotels, hostels, apartments
• Shopping – big brands and local ventures
• Entertainment – restaurants, bars, concerts
• Cruise terminal alongside the ‘hygge’ bridge – as alternative/supplement to Copenhagen
• Culture – interrelated with local history
• Business – green sustainable ventures
• Cycle touring/boating/trekking

The basic principles are that the ‘hygge’ bridge is only for soft traffic (pedestrians and bicyclists). Everything is to be self sustainably green. Supply chain aspects are envisaged underneath the carriageway.

The ‘hygge’ bridge will be anything but a normal bridge. Think Pier 39 in San Francisco, or Eiffel Tower in Paris, or Clarke Quay in Singapore – if Danish, Nyhavn on pillars.

The two municipalities on either side of the bridge already cooperate on promoting the region as one integrated tourist adventure and a “blue maritime” strategy exists.




Funding is sought for by donations to “Save The Bridge Association”.

The government owns Storstrømsbroen and the properties in proximity of the bridge. The government therefore has the “right of use”; and the decision for destruction with an allocation of DKK 500 million has already been made by law.

Unofficially, the government is prepared to release itself from the “burden” of DKK 500 million by selling the bridge and related properties for DKK 1; with the condition that a buyer will take on the responsibility of eventual decommissioning.

Politicians – at local, regional and national levels – have as of yet not officially expressed their consent to the idea of saving the bridge; primarily because the approval and funding for a new bridge was outstanding.

However, with the approval by law that a new bridge is to be constructed, the tide is turning. Furthermore, since it is election year for the local municipalities candidates are anticipated to include the bridge conservation in their campaigns.

An association driven by a close knitted group of enthusiasts is promoting the concept of giving a new life to the bridge.

The association requires funding to create well documented business cases that can convince politicians at all levels as well as any other stakeholders including local citizens that it is a good idea to retain the bridge. This work is anticipated to cost in the range of DKK 1 to 3 million. Since the work may result in a non-favorable decision for the ‘hygge’ bridge; then any funds spent could be lost – thus the request for donations to a good cause.

Two municipalities bridged by the ‘hygge’ bridge
Vordingborg Municipality, on the north side and Guldborgsund Municipality, on the south side.

Investment in “Big Stream Bridge Development”

The ‘hygge’ bridge is to be an economically profitable and sustainable business enterprise. Two foundations are envisaged

1. Infrastructure; an entity to whom the existing properties and the obligation for an eventual decommission is transferred; an objective is to secure the DKK 500 million allocated for destruction into this foundation
2. Conservation; an entity funding the conservation and conservation from Storstrømsbroen to the ‘hygge’ bridge by large national and international foundations.

Several large foundations specialising in funding large building conservation projects have expressed interest in active involvement; once the right of use has been transferred. On top of these two basic foundations a development, and later operating, company is to become active – the Big Stream Bridge Development company.

Initially funding is required for this company through the development stages – the next 4-6 years. Whilst funding requirements are yet to be established, current volunteers could turn employees requiring an increasing funding starting at about DKK 1-2 million annually.
Hence the company, as landlord and operator, will be economically self-sustainable.

The annual turnover of the ‘hygge’ bridge is anticipated in excess of DKK 500 million.


Oxford Dictionaries had hygge on their shortlist for Word of the Year 2016