How To Move An Entire City

Have you ever thought about moving a complete city of 23,000 inhabitants? It’s probably not on your mind, but the people in the city of Kiruna can’t think about anything else.

Kiruna, Sweden’s most northern city, became famous for its production and worldwide sales of iron ore. Thanks to a huge iron mine, the city could develop into a wealthy place. However, the heavy industrial activity have left its traces. Due to the mining the city has a perforated landscape and is constantly threatened by subsidence and erosion — problems that are so serious that moving the entire city becomes a realistic scenario.

The challenge already started in 2004, when the local mining company warned the authorities about the city’s destabilization. In the coming decades the ‘old’ Kiruna will be demolished step-by-step. At the same time, the city will be rebuilt a few miles eastwards. The new location for Kiruna is strategically chosen. Now let’s hope that the city doesn’t have to move again in this constantly changing world.

Photo Courtesy: Team Kiruna4ever

Photo Courtesy: Team Kiruna4ever

‘Appearing and Disappearing Arctic Landscapes’ is the name of the winning plan of a competition about the gradual and integral relocation of Kiruna, made by Team Kiruna4ever, Knut Eirik Dahl, Lisa Diedrich, Ghilardi+Hellsten Arkitekter and White Arkitekter. The project is currently on show at the Kunsthal in Rotterdam as part of this year’s International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam.

IABR 2014

Pop-Up City is official media partner of the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam 2014. In the coming months we’re making an article series about the best the IABR has to offer.