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Conference paper, 2007

To Move a small Mining Town

Nilsson L Kristina


Planning practice of today encompass numerous issues to implement global, national and local requirements of a more urban sustainable development. This holds on both comprehensive and detailed levels. On an all-embracing level it concerns how various interests are handled in ways that achieve long-lasting decisions. On the comprehensive level it means how the territory/landscape is planned to be used in a sustainable way. The detailed level affects the urban and green pattern, such as which built-up areas is planned in relation to infrastructure and to opportunities for low-energy building and communication. In most local authority there is also a challenge to combine the needs of the societal common interests for the inhabitants living environment with requirements of the main local industry and commerce. The small town of Kiruna is located a sparsely settled area of the very north of Sweden, facing harsh climate and growing conditions. There are on-going processes of planning based on the assumption to move or rebuild one third of the built environment caused by the iron ore mine underneath the existing urban structure. The changes are planned in cooperation with several heavy actors and a manifold of interests. The various functions in the town must be integrated to reach good living conditions ecologically, socially and economically for all its inhabitants. The overall aim of the proposed project is to examine how comprehensive visions and policies of sustainable urban development are concretised in contemporary planning on different planning levels. However the sustainability ambitions has often just been realised in smaller parts of towns. This makes a case study of current planning in Kiruna particularly interesting. A third part of the town is planned to be moved or pulled down and rebuilt. The Kiruna case is expected to produce new knowledge of how a full scale sustainable urban development can be created today. Furthermore the integration of the main industry and society is unusually clear in the local authority of Kiruna which promises good evidence of the opportunities and hindrances to realise a more sustainable urban development


urban planning; urban development; spatial planning; sustainable development; mining community

Published in

Publisher: Cost Office Bryssel


Cost Action C27, Evora Workshop

Authors' information

Nilsson, Kristina (Nilsson, Kristina)
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Urban and Rural Development

UKÄ Subject classification

Economics and Business
Landscape Architecture
Social Sciences
Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use

URI (permanent link to this page)