Life between the buildings

We care for and develop life between the buildings for vibrant communities – now and in future. Despite focus being on the new, that which remains must not be forgotten.

Children painting
Children’s thoughts about the future are presented on a long fence in the Mine City Park.

Vibrant communities during the transformation are important. This is why LKAB are working to create a pleasant environment for residents and visitors during the ongoing transformation process. Façades are painted, lawns are mowed, flowers are planted and activities are arranged in the areas that are eventually to be deserted.

It is important that the changes are allowed to take time. Our intention is for the areas that are to be phased out to continue being pleasant. At the same time, we create vibrant and attractive areas where parks meet recreational areas and residential quarters meet an active city centre.

Only together can we build communities where we give as much thought to what goes on between the buildings as we do to the buildings themselves.

Many children

Colourful visions of the future

One example of LKAB and Kiruna Municipality's work to create an attractive community during transformation is that 130 pupils, lead by art teacher Sofia Agronius, have painted a 40 metre long fence that is to separate the demolition of the buildings in the Ullspiran area from the rest of the community.

"I think it's a fun idea and a good way of working with the urban transformation in school. The children appreciated being creative and painting and even found it hard to agree on their ideas sometimes", says Siv Labba, teacher at Sameskolan.

Rational arguments meet emotions

The big challenge is not to move cities but instead to meet every individual's questions and sometimes concern with respect. Rational arguments meet emotions and habits. Traditions are posed against innovation and visions. Moving is a great transformation in the life of a person, in particular when the old building or neighbourhood will not remain.

It is about individuals with different emotions and ties, some stronger than others, to their home, their building or their area. The personal value and love for certain places is difficult to measure in money but easier when we talk about cultural and historical values. It is the scope, the time perspective and the fact that such modern societies are transformed for the benefit of mining that make the urban transformation particularly unique.

The memories live on

In the areas affected by the changes are a number of the city's most unique, loved and fascinating buildings; several of which are listed buildings. These buildings, like the surrounding area, have been documented extensively prior to their phasing out. The buildings and the lives lived in them are documented in books, images and films for the public to enjoy.

Read about how we preserve the memories in Kiruna here.
Read about how we preserve the memories in Malmberget here.

 

A crossroads

LKAB and the mining locations live in symbiosis with each other. We are dependent on the communities for our supply of skills and ability to compete. The communities benefit from the jobs and investments created by the mines.

In short, Malmfälten are at a crossroads. Regardless of which road we choose it will affect the life between the buildings. Either the communities move or the mining stops and many job opportunities will be lost. There is no middle road.