Our most important initiatives

The Green Hub

Clean, Green Economy

We are working towards positioning the STRING region as a competitive and innovative megaregion, which is internationally recognised as a Green Hub and a leading entity in the future of sustainable infrastructure thinking.

The STRING region already has several strengths when it comes to selling and exporting solutions for green technologies. We are experts in wind energy in Northern Germany, bioenergy in Sweden, city planning in Denmark and electricity in Norway. With greater collaboration between regions and shared learning, STRING is working to develop best practices on green growth that will be an example to the world.

To position our region as a Green Hub, STRING is working with different analysis and expert groups to develop a clear agenda and action plan for the green growth topic. 

Sustainable Infrastructure

Mobility of goods, people and competencies – and a modern and well-functioning transport system underpinning it – is a central pillar of economic and social integration, sustaining business, trade, travel and tourism. Integrated, up-to-date and sustainable transport networks, not least across borders, are key drivers of economic growth, job creation and ensuring a good quality of life for all citizens.

The STRING region is uniquely positioned as a nexus between the Nordic countries, Northern Germany and continental Europe. The transport infrastructure in the region forms a corridor that enables both internal and external mobility, and supports development of a more prosperous, liveable and sustainable society. Projects such as the Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link will only make the region even closer interlinked and, if handled right, support greater mobility, growth and low or zero emission transport systems.

Still, this will not happen automatically, and there is an urgent need for STRING to continue to building transport infrastructure to reap the full benefits of an integrated low emission economy throughout the region, and to meet the demands and challenges following new infrastructure development.

As the transport volume through the STRING region is only expected to grow, a coordinated strategy covering the entire STRING region is vital to develop sustainable transport solutions. These solutions must counter the long travel times and current inadequate transport infrastructure that is hampering further economic integration and investment.

To create a region where there are no barriers to the free movement of people, goods and competencies, making STRING one fully interconnected cross-border megaregion, we are focusing our efforts on the following infrastructure areas:


Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link

The construction of a fixed link across the Fehmarn Belt remains one of our most important infrastructure initiatives. The project will dramatically improve connectivity in the STRING region as well as the whole Scandinavian and Mediterranean corridor, while also drastically reducing travel times. This will directly lead to investment, economic growth, and new job opportunities. Read more about Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link here.


Railway: Gothenburg-Oslo


The current railway stretch between Oslo and Gothenburg lies along the ScandMed TEN-T corridor, and has been identified by the EU as a bottleneck to accessibility in the whole corridor. Travel times for train passengers on this route far surpasses that of road transport. It currently takes twice as long for a freight train going from Oslo to Gothenburg, as it does for a lorry traveling by road.

Of the seven trains daily frequenting the stretch in each direction, only three travel at full speed (around 85 km/pr.h). Furthermore, close to 97% of all freight between the two destinations happen via road transport, with over 70% of lorries returning empty. This presents two main challenges; 1) rail accessibility and travel times on the entire TEN-T corridor, all the way down to Hamburg becomes suboptimal; 2) the environmental effects of passenger travel in the stretch are far worse than with a well-functioning railway system. Hence, the bottleneck created by only having a single track between Oslo and Gothenburg is a huge infrastructural disadvantage for the entire TEN-T ScandMed corridor, prolonging travel times and hindering accessibility for the entire megaregion.

The stretch between Oslo and Gothenburg needs double tracks to create economic growth and improve our environment. With continuously stricter EU and national emission goals, we are dependent on well-functioning rail traffic. Electrical vehicles and hydrogen cars are a huge step in the right direction toward cutting emissions, but they do not have the range or efficiency to replace traveling by air and quick trips between cities and rural areas. Nor do they solve the issue of congestion on to roads. Pushing for new rail solutions is therefore the only sustainable alternative for mid-length travels.

STRING is engaging with stakeholders at the local, regional and national levels to strengthen the railway networks and propose new solutions to countering the increasing road traffic. We work to put this on the national agenda in all of our member countries, and as an urgent topic to be addressed in Brussels.

Hydrogen Corridor

In an effort to decarbonise the EU transport system, STRING is in the process of establishing a hydrogen corridor with refuelling stations for hydrogen heavy-duty vehicles from Hamburg to Oslo – along the EU ScanMed TEN-T corridor.

Heavy-duty vehicles are currently responsible for 27% of CO2 emissions from road transport in the EU. Despite EU regulation calling for a 30% reduction by 2030, emissions have continuously been rising since 1990. If we do not act now, the STRING region will not be able to reach its CO2 reduction targets for 2030 and 2050.

Simultaneous, heavy-duty vehicles are a key player in ensuring a competitive trading system that provides the STRING region with exports, jobs and a healthy economy. A reduction of such necessary trade would be detrimental to the economy of the STRING region; therefore, a green transition of heavy-duty vehicles from fossil fuel to new alternative fuels is a cornerstone in building a greener economy.

Hydrogen remains one of the most promising new technologies in this field. The EU plans to invest up to 470 billion euros into hydrogen technology, estimating that hydrogen will create up to 1 million direct related jobs until 2050. This is a window of opportunity for the STRING region to establish itself as a frontrunner and a test bed for hydrogen technology. With concrete initiatives on hydrogen, STRING can reap this enormous potential and make sure that the capital set aside by the EU is invested into our region, playing a crucial role in the green transition of our economy and transport sector.

Moreover, the STRING region has excellent preconditions for being a testbed for hydrogen technology by combining an optimal size of 121,683,6 square kilometers with a high production of renewable energy and an innovation-friendly environment. Therefore, STRING now takes the first step towards becoming a global hydrogen frontrunner by establishing a hydrogen corridor from Hamburg to Oslo.

The hydrogen corridor project aims at deploying a minimum of 12 hydrogen refuelling stations and a fleet of up to 570 hydrogen heavy-duty vehicles in the STRING region. The project is planned as an EU co-financed project with a public-private partnership uniting stakeholders along the entire hydrogen value chain.

See our one pager of project STRING Hydrogen Corridor: STRING Hydrogen Corridor_project idea


Fixed Links across Öresund 

The opening of the Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link between Denmark and Germany in 2028, will increase the number of trains transporting goods and passengers between Scandinavia and Central Europe. More freight on rail supports the EU target of moving goods from road to rail. Sweden is planning for high-speed rail between Stockholm and Malmö with the potential to continue to Copenhagen Airport and to Hamburg via Fehmarn. This supports the EU target that all core airports has high speed rail connectivity. An increased volume of trains will challenge the capacity across the Öresund Fixed Link. This consequently causes a risk creating bottleneck issues for green, sustainable transport of goods and labour market mobility across the Öresund.

New cross-border connections like an Öresund Metro between the urban nodes Copenhagen and Malmö and a  tunnel between Helsingborg and Helsingör are necessary to accommodate the increased demand for more capacity and better connectivity. STRING is engaging with stakeholders and governments to propose sustainable solutions and increase opportunities for business and the citizens of the region.

Foto: Apelöga


Mapping of bottlenecks

For our efforts to have maximum success, we also need to focus on eliminating all key bottlenecks in the Scandinavian and Mediterranean corridor between Hamburg and Oslo. 

In a new analysis made by Ramboll and KombiConsult, we have zoomed in on the current and potential bottlenecks in the megaregion after the construction of the Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link. Removing these barriers is of crucial importance not only to the economy of Northern Europe, but Europe at large.

If the bottlenecks on the new Fehmarn Belt Route were removed, it would reduce the travel time between Oslo and Hamburg by 4 hours. A trip between these two cities would then only take 9 hours.

To achieve this goal, the necessary surrounding infrastructure projects must begin now so the Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link does not become an isolated solution creating new bottlenecks in the STRING corridor. This is particularly the case in the Oresund Region and the stretch between Gothenburg and Oslo.

The recommendations in this report have the support of all STRING members who are united in our effort to secure a smooth, green and swift transportation of goods and people in our region.