Moving an Arctic city

Sweden’s most northerly city sits on top of millions of tons of iron ore. There’s no stopping the mining, so the town has to go, writes Stephen Bourke.

22nd February, 2015
In Kiruna in Sweden, the new clock tower from the old city hall will stand in front of the new one as a focal point for the town’s public life

The way Krister Lindstedt puts it, you might be forgiven for thinking Kiruna was the setting for a disaster film. “The deformation zone is closing in to the city,” he said, “so the first stage of the relocation has to start now.”

The deformation zone is a mushrooming circle of subsiding land around the largest underground iron ore mine in the world.

Right now, the Swedish state mining company LKAB has...

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