Green industry and cultural historical values
in Borlänge and Falun

The research project “Goal conflicts creates opportunities” visited Falun and Borlänge on 2–3 May 2023 to discuss the meeting between green industry and cultural historical values with companies, cultural environment representatives and municipalities. Host for the days was Dalarna University.

Actors’ Forum 1 in the project “Goal conflicts creates opportunities”. 

The green transition in industry is necessary to meet the climate change challenges. It also creates new faith in the future and job opportunities in places that have long struggled with difficulties. Today’s new industrialization can be compared to the great industrial transformation in Sweden at the beginning of the 20th century – it creates new opportunities but also goal conflicts between new and existing. How can industrial and cultural-historical sustainability work together? The project Goal conflicts creates opportunities seeks answers to that question and tests ways to make industrial heritage a resource in the green transition.

Appropriately enough, the program began on day 1 with a visit to the world heritage site Falu mine, a place which, with its historical antecedents, has created conditions for the tourism industry but has also been the subject of new exploration. There, the project group met Lars Jönses, building antiquarian and operations manager for cultural landscape at the Dalarna museum. The discussions focused particularly on the transformation of Kvarnsveden’s industrial area near Borlänge, where the former paper mill is now being demolished to make room for battery manufacturer Northvolt’s new manufacturing facility.

Day 2 began with a visit to city architect Pernilla Wåhlin Norén at Borlänge municipality, followed by a visit to Kvarnsveden where Northvolt’s site manager Rickard Eriksson and project manager Jerker Arnberg offered a tour.

Among the buildings demolished during the spring at Kvarnsveden is the paper mill’s original building, known as the Old Mill or Bobergshallen – once created as a machine hall at the Stockholm Exhibition in 1897. The process that, despite decades of preservation discussions, led to the demolition of Bobergshallen is analyzed in one of the project’s “learning cases”. . The other two case studies are the historic mining sites Laver and Nautanen in Norrbotten, where the mining company Boliden is currently considering resuming copper mining.

On the afternoon of day 2, the project brought together a stakeholder forum in the University of Dalarna’s premises, with representatives from companies, the municipality, the university, the county board and the county museum in Borlänge/Dalarna, but also from Norrbotten’s museum, Norrbotten’s county board and the Technical Museum in Stockholm. In a two-hour workshop, actors and project members contributed to identifying challenges and critical issues for development processes with goal conflicts as opportunities.

Participant in stakeholder forum 1 in the project “Goal conflict as an opportunity” on 2–3 May 2023.

Participants in stakeholder forum 1 in the project “Goal conflict as an opportunity” on May 2–3, 2023

About the project

The Vinnova-funded interdisciplinary research project “Goal conflicts create opportunities: learning from the north where green industry meets cultural heritage values” is led by Charlie Gullström at Sweco.It is a collaboration between Sweco, Luleå University of Technology, Dalarna University, Centre for Business History and industrial companies and municipalities in Norrbotten and Dalarna. Participants from us at the Centre for Business History are Anders Houltz och Benito Peix Geldart

The project will organize a second stakeholder forum in Luleå on 28–29 August.