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Author Topic: Sweden's northernmost town is moving. Two miles to the east!  (Read 3292 times)

Jim Hunt

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Sweden's northernmost town is moving. Two miles to the east!
« on: March 06, 2014, 03:35:37 PM »
According to the BBC this morning:

This spring work will begin to move Sweden's northernmost town two miles to the east. Over the next 20 years, 20,000 people will move into new homes, built around a new town centre, as a mine gradually swallows the old community. It's a vast and hugely complicated undertaking.

"When people hear that we're designing, creating and building a whole new city from scratch they think we're doing a utopian experiment," says architect Mikael Stenqvist.

But there's too much at stake to think of it as an experiment, he says.

"If this project goes wrong, the survival of Kiruna, its inhabitants and its economy is at stake. That gives us great concern - unlike any other project we work on."
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein


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Re: Sweden's northernmost town is moving. Two miles to the east!
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2014, 06:14:10 AM »
Yes, there's the older mine about 1,5 miles N of the town centre and the new mine is 1-2 miles SW. Apparently the ores connect under the the town (or city that far north...), so driving the scenic E10 ( might  become even more exciting in the future. E10 threads across the second image, taken from top of the old mine (blasted shut I guess). The third image, taken June 28th afternoon, is of the only (likely) permafrost bog along the E10, which I guess is the only highway in Scandinavia (maybe there's one or two in Norway too and the E105 through Murmansk) that goes through real tundra and arctic biome (the twig on left is a huge dwarf birch, probably some 30 years old. The other 'trees' in the image are possibly

WRT the move, many people will lose the warmish (considering the area) south facing slope Kiruna is currently located, and move to a less inclining location. The process though is rather straightforward, take what's in the red oval, and move it to the other red oval... of course they'll have to relocate the E10 also. The more southern location is excluded because of the local airport is there.

(modified AFTER properly checkin the directions...) the 'where to'-oval should be a bit more to the left but anyway...
« Last Edit: March 10, 2014, 03:36:54 PM by Pmt111500 »


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Re: Sweden's northernmost town is moving. Two miles to the east!
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2014, 11:18:04 AM »
Looked at the topographic map of the area, it appears there are some unbuilt warmish slopes (out of the image) a bit north (within 2,5-mile radius) of the intended new centre , but some of these are marked as a military area. Maybe the swedish military will step forward?  Still the naturally warmest large location here is the current centre. Climate change will help... And anyway there is plenty of swamp to dry before people can enjoy a mosquito-free new centre.

The scale is pretty large, yes... my estimates:
some 10 miles of highway, 5 miles of railroad, at least about 50 miles of streets, some 7 miles of dredging to dry the 2,5 square miles of bogs nearby, 25 miles of fence for reindeer migration, new water plant from a different watershed, pipelines for pure water have to be dug over 5 feet deep in this climate...
« Last Edit: March 10, 2014, 02:31:46 PM by Pmt111500 »