Research Project: Mining heritage as a resource for sustainable communities: lessons for Sweden from the Arctic

Project leader
Dag Avango, Institutionen för Ekonomi, Teknik, Konst och Samhälle Luleå Tekniska Universitet
Project Members
Project Period
Project Status
This project examines the legacies of mining in the context of communities around the Nordic regions of the Arctic in order to inform contemporary discussions on the future of mining communities in northern Sweden. The material remains of mining, from ecological damage to operational equipment and transport infrastructure, persist long after the end of activities
and the end of mining-generated income. Mining sites are often sites of cultural memory, central to the identity of the communities that depended upon them. Yet different communities have taken very different approaches to these legacies, from actively incorporating them in tourism (using mining remains as a resource for post-mining futures) to leaving them as
non-economic places of local memory. We use approaches from industrial and cultural heritage studies in addition to history and archaeology to understand the conditions under which Arctic mining legacies become particular resources for local communities. Through field studies, archive work, and interviews with stakeholders, we explore how even the most physically resistant mining legacies are constantly open for reinterpretation by different groups and thus able to support different visions for the future of local communities. With mining in the Arctic a subject of intense contemporary debate, and the future of mining communities in Norrbotten under considerable scrutiny, lessons from around the Arctic can help
inform responsible decision-making.
gruvsamhällen, Svalbard, Grönland, kulturarv, mining communities, Svalbard, Greenland, cultural heritage
Research Profile
Complex Systems - Microdata Analysis
Human Geography
Tourism Studies