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Jakob Ehrensvärd | profile | all galleries >> Decay, ruins, wrecks and scrap >> Industrial doom tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Industrial doom

The pattern is all too familiar in the western world and Sweden is surely no exception - restructuring of established industries have been both ruthless and painful. On the other hand, as years of subsidies and a myriad of regulations were fundamentally changed, the new business environment required very drastic measures. Fuelled with the massive increases in wages during the period 1965-1975, the 1972-73 oil crisis, new environmental laws and the competition from the new Asian economies, several industry sectors were hit real hard as the recessions grew deeper and longer. On top of this, add some massive waves of devaluations and the picture gets somewhat complete...

There has been several shockwaves since the first real post WWII-recession around 1965-66 until today and the picture seems clearer when correlating the time of closure of a particular industrial site with the economic reality of that specific period. In some cases, it was apparent to the owner that there was no possible future whatsoever and the site was bulldozed more or less instantly. In other cases, the sites were left for years in a condition of downward slope, either closed or with a gradually declining business.

It is somewhat thoughtful to walk around in ruins of the modern industrialized world and reflect over the fact that these monuments were booming for such a short time and that the business reality can change so fast and so fundamentally. It is also a bit striking to realize the heritage from the booming years when environmental issues were very low on the agenda. Spills and endless dumps of heavy metals, stable chlorine compounds, oil, asbestos and other waste is really a boring present from our parents...
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