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Kiruna residents talk life in a town on the move
Johanna says it's strange to think the town where she learned to ride a bike will be gone. Photo: Oliver Gee

Kiruna residents talk life in a town on the move

The Local · 11 Aug 2014, 11:13

Published: 11 Aug 2014 11:13 GMT+02:00

It's 1am in Kiruna, Sweden's northernmost town, and the room is shaking. 
 
It's only for a second, but the staff at the tourist centre had warned that visitors may feel reverberations from the nearby iron ore mine, where workers set off explosives during the night. 
 
Business has been so good for the LKAB mining company that officials have decided to keep drilling further and further, on such an angle that the the miners are working their way under the town itself. 
 
As a result, a huge chunk of Kiruna is going to be demolished and rebuilt three kilometres to the east. 
 
 
A model of the town of Kiruna
 
The project is planned to take 20 years, and is likely to affect many of the town's 20,000 residents. 
 
While most of the buildings will be knocked down, some, including the church, will be taken apart and rebuilt. The red line in the picture above marks the part of town set for demolition.
 
While plans for the move have been at play for years, The Local checked in with the residents recently to see how they feel about life in a town that's - quite literally - on the move. 
 
Story continues below…
Included are an Eritrean immigrant who still hasn't figured out the Swedes, a shopkeeper whose building is set for demolition, a woman who laments the loss of her childhood memories -  and more. 
 
Oliver Gee
 

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