Kiruna, a small and industrious mining town in the arctic north of Sweden, is facing a unique challenge - the mine has expanded so far under ground that it is weakening the town’s foundations and will eventually pose a threat to inhabitants. City leadership and the mining company decided that much of the town would have to be demolished and moved. While many might see this as a problem, Kiruna instead sees an opportunity. “We have a unique situation that everybody actually should envy,” says Mats Nilsson, head of the Kiruna Sustainability Center. “We have a white piece of paper and the possibility to design, draw and build a completely new and sustainable city.” Guest-hosts and IIIEE Master’s students Alexandra Jonca and Kelly Delaney traveled to Kiruna to explore how one goes about moving a town and what sustainability means in an Arctic context.
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