Mine Kiruna (My Sharona?)

Thoughts and musings

Mine Kiruna (My Sharona?)

Lewis | August 14, 2015 | 0 Comments

Pardon the horrendous attempt of a pun out of the hit single from The Knacks!

Kiruna is a city in Sweden; it also happens to be the northernmost city in the Scandinavian country, deep into Arctic territory. What initially makes this city stand out is the one of the world’s largest iron ore deposits beneath the surface. As a result of this, a mining company called Luossavaara-Kiirunavaara Aktiebolag (LKAB) set up base there in 1890, setting up railway transport to this remote location in the process and ten years later, the city itself was founded.

Therefore, it could be said that the city, its people and their livelihoods are indebted to LKAB, the mining company, and the mine itself. However, irony loves to crop up in these sort of moments…

The very reason why the city was founded in the first place, the mine, is now the reason behind this extraordinary story, originally found by our marketing team from an article in The Guardian: the mining activity of LKAB is causing the ground subsidence, which is creating cracks in building work in the city. In some cases, constructions have even collapsed. This phenomena is the reason behind ‘crooked houses’; buildings that are severely slanted. Tourist attractions they may be, but in the situation Kiruna finds itself in, it is not going to improve.

The ground subsidence is threatening the very existence of Kiruna. This is why LKAB are proposing the radical idea of the purchasing, demolition and construction after relocation of the most affected areas of the city. On top of homes, these include shops, schools and other public services. They are actually in the process of doing so already; the hope is that the majority of the planned phases will be completed by 2040. This is a staggering thought, considering this is only a quarter of a century away.

Obviously, this is a topic that is courting criticism, controversy and divided opinion. You can see for yourself in the article link above. What is your opinion on it? In my own humble one, I have witnessed and experienced urbanism before, but nothing on this scale. The company have their ideals of profit maximisation as well as PR. But the sheer magnitude of expense sticks in my mind. Will it be a success, assuming it is even completed? Leave your comments in the section below; we would love a discussion about this subject.


Oakleigh Manor Limited are a multi-disciplinary company specialising in providing all outdoor needs under one roof, for all sizes and styles of external spaces. Our expertise has led us to numerous national awards, but what fuels us every day is the ethos we adopt: to create unique, bespoke projects. You can see perfect examples of these by looking at our Garden Design webpage


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