Art on the North Bothnia Line: A Pilot Project for Art in the Future

Eleven artists explore how art and the traffic environment can interact along the 270 km stretch of the North Bothnia railway line.

A 270 km New Coastal Railway between Umeå and Luleå

The North Bothnia Line is a new railway that will run along the coast of Västerbotten and Norrbotten. The new railway will proceed along the coast between Umeå and Luleå, passing Robertsfors, Skellefteå and Piteå. The North Bothnia Line will create new opportunities for faster, safer and more sustainable travel and transport. Since 2020, Public Art Agency Sweden and the Swedish Transport Administration have been collaborating on a pilot project that will explore how artists can become involved at an early stage of the Swedish Transport Administration’s planning work. Through an exploratory working method, artists develop ideas that will pave the way for innovative interactions between art and the traffic environment.

Artistic Themes: Time, Landscape, Experience

The artists work in three teams. The overarching theme takes its point of departure in time, geography/landscape, and experience. It is hoped that the artists’ preliminary studies will enrich the Swedish Transport Administration’s process with additional perspectives and, by extension, develop strategic working methods for the design of long, cohesive transport routes in Sweden.

On the North Bothnia Line

The North Bothnia Line is a 270 km long coastal railway between Umeå and Luleå which will provide new possibilities for travel and the transportation of goods throughout the country. The North Bothnia Line will connect to the rest of Sweden and Europe.

The North Bothnia Line is planned in three stages: Umeå–Dåva, Dåva–Skellefteå and Skellefteå–Luleå. The first section of the North Bothnia Line is scheduled to be in use in 2024.


Public Art Agency Sweden is commissioned by the government to develop, in collaboration with other government agencies, methodological support for how up to one percent of the budget for a construction project – new builds, redevelopment and extensions – can be allocated for public visual or design art when the government builds.

Public Art Agency Sweden collaborates actively with, among others, the Swedish Transport Administration, Akademiska hus, the Swedish Fortifications Agency, Jernhusen, Specialfastigheter, the National Property Board of Sweden and Swedavia in order to develop working methods and involve public art at an early stage of planning and building. The commission is part of the new policy area Designed Living Environments, which was adopted by the Parliament in May 2018. The aim of Designed Living Environments is, to a greater extent, to strengthen and integrate visual art, architecture and design, providing increased access to sustainable and well-designed living environments.

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