A Study on Industrial Towns’ Development: Ludvika’s Challenges

Ludvika and Borlänge are municipalities located in the manufacturing belt of Sweden (Bergslagen); the two municipalities have had different development patterns since the beginning of the decline of the manufacturing belt.

This thesis focuses on Ludvika which has experienced decrease in population for many decades, and compares Ludvika’s development to the development of Borlänge, which has experienced increase in population.

Now there are a lot of investments underway in Ludvika. Hence, the purpose of this thesis is to study the development paths of Ludvika and Borlänge and see how they differ and to discuss the future development of Ludvika, and the possibility to change the development pattern of Ludvika. The theoretical perspective of the thesis is the literature on manufacturing belts and their decline and the concept of path dependence.

The results are that political priorities, after the decline in Bergslagen have encouraged the enlargement of the service sector in Borlänge, which in its turn has diversified the commercial and business life of Borlänge, breaking the path dependent development the municipality had, while Ludvika still has a path dependent development evolving around the industry at ABB, dependent on the strong manufacturing culture, with continuously increasing industrial sector and decreasing service sector.

Other factors which have influenced the different development patterns of Ludvika and Borlänge are the geographic locations, the locations within the transport system and the size of the local labor markets. The planned investment can in certain scenarios change the development pattern of Ludvika.
Source: Blekinge Institute of Technology
Author: Benediktsdóttir, Valgerdur Gréta

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