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A City in Transformation


Detailed description of the Good Practice

The mining town of Kiruna was founded a little over a hundred years ago, when extensive ore deposits were discovered in the area. Now, large parts of the town need to be moved and reconstructed due to mine expansion and land deformation.
Through public meetings, exhibitions, surveys, and interactive communication, an active dialogue is being held between the inhabitants of Kiruna and the various actors involved in the relocation, with special priority given to communicating with the young people and women of Kiruna.
The city of Kiruna in the very north of Sweden was founded in 1900 to exploit the large ore deposits of the mountain Kirunavaara. The first executive of the LKAB mining company, Hjalmar Lundbohm, wanted to establish Kiruna as a model community. Thus, he consulted Sweden’s finest experts in architecture and urban planning.
The Kiruna town plan, designed by planner architect Per-Olov Hallman, was the first climate-adapted community plan in Sweden. The streets follow the contours of the
terrain in an irregular pattern, slowing down the cold winds. Several housing areas still bear witness to the foresight shown at the time. When the people of Kiruna now, over a century later, have to move parts of their town, the intention is to utilize the creative thought of the old community plan and, in combination with modern knowledge, build a new model community.
The transformation of central Kiruna is a unique project, especially on such a large
scale of the population effected, preventing planners in Kiruna from being able to share experiences with colleagues in other cities and countires. But it also gives Kiruna an exclusive opportunity to be a model for other cities in the world in the future, when climate change and the threat of rising sea levels may force other cities as well to move to safer grounds.

citizens democracy
stakeholders involvement
urban planning
quality of life

Objectives of the Good Practice

to stimulate an active dialogue between the inhabitants of Kiruna concerning the reconstruction of the city

Participants of the Good Practice

Local authorities

Target group of the Good Practice


Funding of the Good Practice

Local authorities

More Details of the Good Practice

Documentation and documents


Available files

Data sources and references

Sustainability by Sweden
Perspectives on urban governance