Is this Sweden's ugliest town?

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Is this Sweden's ugliest town?
Do you agree that this is Sweden's ugliest town? Photo: Per Johansson/Wikimedia Commons

An organization fighting to preserve the beauty of Sweden's high streets has ranked the country's ugliest city centres. Do you agree?


Borlänge is Sweden's ugliest town, according to the Architectural Uprising's survey.

The group, a non-governmental organization founded in 2014, describes itself as a "people's movement against modernism/neo-modernism and the continued uglification of our cities".

"We want to clarify that (the survey) is about Sweden's most uglified city centre, since all towns were beautiful until the box modernism and demolition hysteria tore down all the charming wooden houses and lavish stone buildings and replaced them with sad-looking boxes," it writes.

"Even the ugly cities of course have their charm, and many have nice natural areas, beautiful scenery or traces of their former beautiful buildings left, but the vote is about the overall impression, focusing on urban planning and architecture."

Borlänge in picturesque central region Dalarna is home to more than 40,000 people and grew from a village to a major hub in the late 19th century, when the railway and steel and paper industries were built.

More than 1,000 of those almost 7,000 who voted in the survey picked Borlänge as Sweden's ugliest city, followed by Västerås and Hässleholm. Scroll down for the top-ten ranking.

"We are honestly a bit surprised that Borlänge beat Västerås," writes the Architectural Uprising in a statement.

"Borlänge does still have some beautiful wooden and stone buildings along some of its central shopping streets (…) but 'boxes' around one of the central squares completely destroy the former idyllic town of which you can still see traces."

Sweden's top-ten ugliest towns in 2018

1. Borlänge (1,007 votes)
2. Västerås (779)
3. Hässleholm (319)
4. Umeå (268)
5. Karlskoga (259)
6. Södertälje (227)
7. Flen (180)
8. Borås (163)
9. Ljungby (148)
10. Bollnäs (141)

Click here for the full ranking


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