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Urban mobility

Air pollution

Clean air in transportation


Public transport catalysing urban rejuvenation

4. September 2023

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The fallout from the 2008 financial crisis pressed Odense to transform from being a big town to a great city. The Odense Tramway project was prioritised as a catalyst for the change, providing the backbone for green mobility while securing further urban investment. 

The project addressed the immense loss of industrial jobs, investment, and identity, and sought to rejuvenate the city. It was designed to combine the best of big city life with Odense’s existing urban nature and strong neighbourhood communities.  

 The challenges were multifaceted:

  • Lack of investment and jobs 
  • Loss of identity 
  • A worn-out industrial city not attractive for young people


Following the broader transformation drive, the project was designed to be holistic, sustainable, and focused on liveability. Running 14 kilometres with 26 stations, it ties together the most important urban development projects and destinations in Odense, including stadiums, museums, malls, park-and-ride stations, an expanding university, and a newly built hospital.

The tramway system combined the big urban development projects as pearls on a string thus connecting suburbs, the stadium complex with football, cycling, hockey, handball, and athletics stadiums, the city centre, the new H.C. Andersen Museum, the main train station, the big shopping malls, an expanding university, and Denmark’s biggest newly built hospital and park and rides with high-class public transportation.  

Facts: The Odense Tramway

  • The tramway opened for passengers 28th of May 2022 
  • It is 14 kilometers long and has 26 stations (though only 24 will open until the new hospital opens in 2025) 
  • Frequency: every 7,5 minutes from 5 am to 12 pm on weekdays  
  • The tramway was chosen as an accessible, efficient, sustainable, and comfortable transportation solution.


The project has helped to deliver 3.6 billion EUR in planned or realised strategic urban investment between 2012 and 2024 in the tramway corridor. Aside from providing reliable, electrified public transportation, it has also delivered new high-quality urban spaces around stations, green roofs, and 1,400 new trees.


The state, The Region of Southern Denmark 

Advisors: COWI, NIRAS 

COMSA, Staedtler 

Operator: Keolis 

Urban green transition

This case is a part of the white paper “Urban green transition”:

A 40-page showcase of why holistic and strategic city planning and development within mobility and infrastructure, climate adaptation, as well as environmentally conscious architecture and construction, must take centre stage in the transformed cities of tomorrow.

Explore the white paper