The city of Kiruna in the north of Sweden is about to undergo one of the biggest urban transformations of our time. Due to land deformation caused by mining activity the entire city must be relocated approximately two miles east over the course of the next century. The relocation is a huge challenge, provoking anxiety and anticipation among the 18,200 citizens. But it is also an unparalleled opportunity for Kiruna to transform itself into a more environmentally, socially and economically sustainable city.
White’s competition winning vision for the transformation project, financed by the mining company, aims to create a sustainable model city that is less dependent on the world market for iron ore. The new Kiruna will offer residents a better place to live whilst transposing the character, familiarity and sense of place of the Kiruna they know.
Is there anything Scotland can learn from this painstaking consultation to make sure big strategic changes to towns and cities are properly considered and gain popular support?
Krister Lindstedt has 30 years of experience as an architect and urban planner. His strategies are always underpinned by thorough research and citizen dialogue, which is key as Lead Architect of the master plan and the sustainability strategy for the transformation of Kiruna.