More metropolises in the future, vows minister

Aarhus, Odense, Aalborg, Esbjerg and Randers identified as cities to expand in size

DR Nyheder reports that the urban, rural and housing minister, Carsten Hansen (S), wants to see five more Danish cities become metropolises, each with over 500,000 inhabitants, as an engine for economic growth. The minister’s statement follows an OECD report linking metropolises with the generation of growth.

The cities in question are Aarhus, Odense, Aalborg, Esbjerg and Randers. They would join Copenhagen – currently Denmark’s only city that qualifies.

Embrace the rural exodus
Existing trends in migration of the population will help bring about the development, according to Hansen.

“The tendency for people to move away from rural areas to cities shouldn’t be fought," he told Hansen.

"Instead we should tackle the challenge by increasing competitiveness and co-operation in urban areas.”

Nevertheless, some of the cities have a long way to go. For example, in 2013 Odense had a population of just 193,370, and even with its surrounding area its population was still short of the half-million mark at 485,672.