For Copenhagen, being the second most bike-friendly city in the world just doesn't seem to be good enough. Denmark's capital is now considering its most ambitious cycling project yet: a cycle highway linking it with nearby Malmö, Sweden's third-largest city.
As a quick glance at the map makes plain, the two cities are separated by water— lots of it. The countries are divided by the 8-mile wide Øresund Straits, a seaway that has been crossable since 2000 thanks to the Øresund Bridge, Europe's longest to carry both cars and rail and second-longest bridge overall. Now the bridge could be threaded with two new elevated cycle ways, if a just-proposed project put together by Swedish firms Skanska and Sweco is taken up. This new international cycle highway is just one strand in an ongoing physical and social engineering project that might be the boldest Europe has yet seen. Since the bridge opened, Sweden and Denmark have been working together to create a new international metro area combining Copenhagen and Malmö, with almost 4 million inhabitants and two governments, currencies and official (if mutually intelligible) languages.