A Swedish town being moved 3km so it doesn't fall into a mine

Overview. New Kiruna project. Image courtesy of White and Tegmark
23/10/2014
A Swedish town being moved 3km so it doesn't fall into a mine
[Kiruna] Sweden
metalocus, ÁNGEL BLANCO
Overview. New Kiruna project. Image courtesy of White and Tegmark

Sweden’s most northerly town is being relocated to avoid being swallowed up by the world’s largest iron-ore mine.

The New Kiruna. The challenge to relocate the city centre of Kiruna attracted architects from around the world. A total of 57 teams showed interest, of which 10 were selected to participate in the competition. White arkitekter working with Ghilardi + Hellsten Arkitekter won the competition with the proposal titled “Kiruna 4-ever”for a 20-year masterplan of Kiruna’s phased relocation by 203.

The city of Kiruna, in the north of Sweden (founded 1900, population approx 18,200), is about to undergo one of the biggest urban transformations of our time. The entire city will be moved approximately two miles east. This is a huge challenge, provoking anxiety and anticipation among the citizens of Kiruna. It is also a unique opportunity to transform the city for the better. It requires careful strategic planning and close consultation with the entire community to harness a collective memory whilst creating a common vision for the future. Unprecedented in its ambition the project raises the question: is it possible to move a city to a new location and build anew whilst preserving the unique identity of the city and its residents?

The city of Kiruna has to move. A vast body of iron ore is being extracted at Kirunavaara on the western border of the city, causing deformation and subsidence effects which will soon reac...read more

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