Moving a City – Kiruna is an upcoming book from A+O Publishing.
How do you move an entire city? In Arctic Sweden this experiment is coming to a conclusion, as Kiruna – Sweden’s northernmost town, which lies within the Arctic Circle and is surrounded by snow for most of the year, as well as lit by northern lights in winter – has over the past decade been moved, house by house, to a new location that is opening on September 1st.
There is a chance that the technology you are using to read this text contains steel converted from high quality iron ore from an iron ore mine. Founded in 1900 and owned by LKAB, a Swedish state-owned mining company, Kiruna has been an industry town for over a century and has been mined to a depth exceeding 1,300 meters. As a result, the mine is so large and deep that the town is at risk of collapsing – you can see the cracks in the ground. The entire town of Kiruna thus has to be moved, as it is at risk of subsidence, and therefore a citywide move has begun.
White Architects and a number of sociologists were hired to investigate the implications of the decade-long move, as well as guide the process and master plan – and the process of moving Kiruna 3 kilometres east began in 2013. Old Kiruna was demolished, with some historic buildings being relocated through the use of flatbed trucks. An entire new town centre has been under construction since 2016. The new townhall was finished in 2019, but the relocation is ongoing and many of the 18,000 inhabitants will be moved over the next decade.
What you immediately realise when visiting Kiruna is the codependency of the town and mine, which are entirely symbiotic. In fact, the entire economic development of the region depends on the mine, so the inhabitants have accepted that their neighbourhoods will be relocated. It is done bit by bit, year by year, and in the autumn of 2022 the new Kiruna town centre opened.
The purpose of this book is to create a nuanced picture of a modern issue and foster an in-depth debate. The material will help visualise the narrative of the Kiruna story, which is a very important example of the codependency between humans and nature. As humans have taken from nature, they have made the land unstable to live on and they are thus forced to move and let nature run its course, while they continues to mine elsewhere. The book looks at this conflicting yet co-dependent relationship, tracks it over time and raises important questions that leave the reader with insights and plentiful existential thoughts.Share on facebook