How do you go about moving an entire city? That was the question the remote Swedish mining town of Kiruna faced in 2004 when its 18,000 residents learned that the ground below it was growing increasingly unstable.
The city center sat on top of the world’s largest iron mine, and high demand for the material had meant that the state-owned company Luossavaara-Kiirunavaara AB (LKAB) was digging deeper and deeper.
The documentary “This is Kiruna – How to move a city” features interviews with locals, such as the 4th generation owner of the historical Centrum clothing store in the old city centre, whose heritage listed sign will be transferred to the new city centre.
We also meet Californian architect Mark Szulgit from award winning White Arkitekter, a local resident since a decade back; heavily involved with designing the new city centre.
Other interviewees include the Vice Chair of the Municipality of Kiruna, the strategic planner at Sweden’s biggest mining company LKAB, a chef and a wilderness guide.
While some buildings are slated to be demolished, some will literally be lifted up from the ground and moved via trucks and cranes. That includes the city’s historic church, voted Sweden’s most beautiful building in 2001, according to the video.