Flickr/aramz

The Swedish city of Malmö says it is doing just fine on its own, thanks.

Re-branding a neighborhood is never without difficulties, even in peace-loving Scandinavia. As the Guardian reported earlier today, the Swedish region of Skåne, just a bridge-ride away from Copenhagen, might be getting a new name: Greater Copenhagen. If the Danish get their way.

Frank Jensen, mayor of Copenhagen, is hoping that extending the name to Skåne, as well to Zealand, the island on which Copenhagen is built, will encourage investment and growth in the entire region, creating a stronger international brand.

"Greater Copenhagen" seems like it might be the next step in a natural progression towards economic unity. There's already a bridge—the Öresund in Swedish, Øresund in Danish—that connects Zealand to Skåne. It opened in 2000 with the intention of stimulating regional growth. By some accounts, it made Malmö a pseudo-suburb of Copenhagen.

But major cultural differences still exist between the bordering areas. Skåne includes Malmö: a city that's lesser-known than Copenhagen on a global stage, but still plenty large (Sweden's third largest) and with its own distinct laws, history, and personality: It's less expensive, less corporate, more youthful feeling. Malmö's mayor has said she's not prepared to let her city be subsumed in name by Copenhagen.

Olof Bortz, a Swedish PhD student who has lived in Malmö, says that being dubbed "Greater Copenhagen" would mean very little to most people who live in Malmö. "I would see it as B.S.," he says. "The people who live there don't need any new kind of designation. It wouldn't be for their benefit."

No—but city rebranding very rarely is. Nor does it always play out the way business interests hope.

Top image courtesy of Flickr user aramzs.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. a photo of a Metro PCS store in Washington, D.C.
    Equity

    What D.C.’s Go-Go Showdown Reveals About Gentrification

    A neighborhood debate over music swiftly became something bigger, and louder: a cry for self-determination from a community that is struggling to be heard.

  2. Equity

    The Hidden Horror of Hudson Yards Is How It Was Financed

    Manhattan’s new luxury mega-project was partially bankrolled by an investor visa program called EB-5, which was meant to help poverty-stricken areas.

  3. The facade of a casino in Atlantic City.
    Photos

    Photographing the Trumpian Urbanism of Atlantic City

    Brian Rose’s new book uses the deeply troubled New Jersey city as a window into how a developer-turned-president operates.

  4. A new map of neighborhood change in U.S. metros shows where displacement is the main problem, and where economic decline persists.
    Equity

    From Gentrification to Decline: How Neighborhoods Really Change

    A new report and accompanying map finds extreme gentrification in a few cities, but the dominant trend—particularly in the suburbs—is the concentration of low-income population.

  5. a photo of San Francisco tourists posing before the city's iconic skyline.
    Life

    Cities Don’t Have Souls. Why Do We Battle For Them?

    What do we mean when we say that the “soul of the city” is under threat? Often, it’s really about politics, nostalgia, and the fear of community change.