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From the Hope of Engineering Nature to the Fear of Environmental Destruction: Imagining the Oresund Bridge (1950s-1990s)
Södertörn University, School of Historical and Contemporary Studies, History.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7639-5374
2019 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This paper aims at presenting some aspects of the approach to natural environment in Sweden and Denmark in the second half of the twentieth century. It does so by analysing the hopes and fears generated by several societal actors when imagining the building of an engineering megastructure: the Oresund bridge, a project aimed at uniting the shores of the two states on the Oresund Straight. The bridge was built in the year 2000, but it has been imagined and planned since the nineteenth century by those who hoped to shorten the distance between Sweden and the continent and to produce major freedom of mobility of persons and goods across the Sound. Until the late 1960s, domesticating and exploiting the natural environment in order to favour the societal exigencies was still considered unproblematic. Only since the late 1960s the paradigm of engineering shifted from an anthropocentric perspective to a more sceptic view over the overexploitation of nature. Engineering the Oresund with tons of concrete and metal structures in order to favour car traffic was no more considered as a human victory upon the tyranny of nature, but as an irresponsible act. Concerns over the project were raised by scientists of the most diverse disciplines and by the local communities, which started the first “green wave” in the early seventies, soon followed by the bourgeois parties. The environmental concerns grew since the 1980s into a more general critique of liberalism, of capitalism and of the European Community, making of the Oresund bridge an ambivalent symbol to whom environmentalists reacted in different ways.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
National Category
History History of Technology Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Baltic and East European studies; Environmental Studies; Politics, Economy and the Organization of Society
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-37709OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-37709DiVA, id: diva2:1289281
Conference
Third Nordic Challenges Conference 2019, Copenhagen Business School, 6-8 March 2019
Funder
Wenner-Gren Foundations, RSv2017-0016
Note

Presentation financed by Reimagining Norden in an Evolving World (ReNew, 2019). Preliminary research financed by Fondet for Dansk-Svensk Samarbejde (November 2016); presentations of preliminary results financed by Wenner-Gren Stiftelserna (RSv2017-0016).

Available from: 2019-02-16 Created: 2019-02-16 Last updated: 2019-03-13Bibliographically approved

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Zavatti, Francesco

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • harvard-anglia-ruskin-university
  • apa-old-doi-prefix.csl
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf