Great visions, but who is holding the rudder?: Designing the model city Kiruna again
2013 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Other academic)
Kiruna in northern Sweden was planned and designed to meet the needs of a growing mining city when the state company LKAB started mining in the area at the turn of 19th century. At the time, the Swedish social democratic welfare state was still in its infancy but there was an industrial community with the superintendent of LKAB, Hjalmar Lundbohm, in the front, caring for the workers in the artic conditions of the emerging city. Kiruna became a model city and role model for how a modern city could be designed and organized. The planning of the city was based on scientific knowledge, good architecture and inclusive social and economic values in the artic climate of the north, and was thus sustainable in ecological, social and economic terms long before the concept was invented. Kiruna became the city of good modern life, were risks were tackled and opportunities seized in collaboration between the municipality, the company and the central state.
Today, several new risks and opportunities have emerged for the city due to deformations in the ground from the mining and a thereof necessary relocation of the city center. This means openings for becoming a model city again and for planning for a sustainable future, for which it further is a wish among local citizens and authorities. With contemporary policy making and planning characterized by a complex network of interactive meta-governance, there is however no obvious actor who will, can or have the competence to take the rudder for the necessary major transformation of the city. We will in this paper argue that there is a general lack of agency in contexts of societal transformation towards a sustainable society, as the one going on in Kiruna today. We will analyse the present local planning process in Kiruna to point out common problems of sustainable transitions, but also contrast the past major transformation (establishment) of Kiruna with the present when it comes to agency for transformation.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Model city, Sustainable transformation, Kiruna, Sweden, History
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-102911OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-102911DiVA: diva2:684345
2013 Transatlantic Policy Consortium Conference, Transatlantic Perspectives in Public Affairs: Technology, Safety, Security, 30 May - 1 June 2013, Hague, Netherlands