Moving an entire city?

Mining town Malmberget sits on top of the iron ore and therfore needs to be "moved". It was clear to the municipality and the mining company that a "traditional" urban planning process simply didn't work. We were brought in to design and led a new type of process. 

The New Gellivare project brought in some 7% of the entire population of the county to create a vision for an attractive future.


The pit in Malmberget grow about a foot or 30 cm per day.


A key is to realize that you can't actually move a city. You tear the old down and build a new. Therefore the process was designed to help the citizens to focus on the best possible future city, rather than discussing what was to be "moved". Among other things, the citizens was asked to write a diary note of a good day in the future. 

In total 7% of the county's entire population participated. For instance almost every 8th grade child participated, as part of their education. 

These stories was turned into a movie. This movie has been used as brief for  planners and architects. Capturing the "ideal" lifestyles of people in the county it shows the "content" of the future city.

The production team was chosen among professionals in the region to get the right, local feeling. For instance the music is by Malmberget-bred band "Väärt".


The resulting vision, the "containers", have four parts:

  1. A new town centre, concentrating activities like high school, sports, culture etc.
  2. Densifying the central parts of Gällivare.
  3. A new canal township along that Vassara river.
  4. A nature-connected township on Repisvaara close to the ski slopes.

The vision was adopted by the municipality in November 2011. We were brought in again in 2013 to develop a program and master plan that covers a whole city.

(Click in images to enlarge)

(Photos: Daniel Olausson, LKAB and Gellivare Municipality)

Client: New Gellivare project

Vision Process & Creative Direction: Maestro Management