One of Sweden's biggest urban relocation projects is now under way. Today the first building in the second phase will be loaded for transport by trailer along a seven-kilometre route. The building weighs 180 tonnes, about as much as 100 large passenger vehicles, and is 22 m long, 10 m wide and 11 m tall.
This year eleven heritage buildings will be moved from Malmberget to Koskullskulle. The relocation project, which includes 30 heritage buildings and 86 housing units, will be concluded in 2018. But this is only a small part of what must be accomplished in order to continue developing and maintaining the mining operation. In Malmberget 3,200 people are affected and 2,000 dwellings and 250,000 square metres of residential and commercial space and other premises must be developed anew in another location.
The ground is affected by LKAB's mining operations and the buildings must be moved if mining is to continue. LKAB is preserving buildings of cultural and historic significance while at the same time offering older buildings for rent at a lower rate than newly built housing.
The community of Malmberget was built in the late 1800s to provide homes for the miners. No one could have expected that mining would continue to this day, more than a century later. Now, the community must be phased out and nearby Gällivare and Koskullskulle will be developed and densified. Shops and hair salons will move to new addresses, children will make their way to school via different routes and new leisure trails will be created.
Malmberget has undergone urban transformation for about the past 60 years as various districts have been phased out. For example, the church was first moved in 1974.