Where the archipelago begins lies the small town of Valdemarsvik with about 2700 inhabitants. As with many other former industrial communities also Valdemarsvik fights against a falling population curve and empty homes as a result. This is most noticeable area is the residential area of Upper Norrbacka (Swe. Övre Norrbacka).
The now abandoned area Upper Norrbacka in Valdemarsvik is idyllically and secure at the top of the hill north of Valdemarsviks center and consists of seven buildings with approximately 130 apartments. The area is encircled by pine forest with blueberry plants. On the inner courtyards are traces of playgrounds, carpet racks, benches and picnic tables.
Still, it’s the 1970s, and Valdemarsvik booming. Many works for companies like NC Furniture and Printing Equipment.
Industries and factories faced increasing competition from abroad. The Swedish “million residential program” with 100,000 new apartments each year had slowed down. Especially the young people began to move to bigger cities. And why stay in an apartment in Valdemarsvik, when it’s possible to buy an estate for about the same monthly cost?
Valdemarsvik get rid of it
In the 1980s, bought a private company 700 of Valdemarsviks apartments, including apartments in Upper Norrbacka. Many of the apartments were empty then, and in 1985 they began to fill the apartments with refugees.
A majority of the residents were refugees until 1997. When the contract with the Swedish Immigration Board ended, the private landlord again aimed for private tenants.
Just before the turn of the millennium, a total renovation began of the area’s apartments. The toddler’s mother Helen, tells Travel Blog Europe that the area was made for families with children. There was always someone for the kids to play with and around the corner was a forest.
In 2002, something happened. The landlord goes bankrupt. Here began the start of decay. After a few years, the area was sold to the town largest private landlord, Fogelvik Estate. Fogelvik Estate already had apartment’s in surplus, and therefore remained Upper Norrbacka untouched.
Resort for seniors
Around 2007 began a low-intensity renovation of a few apartments. The idea was that Upper Norrbacka would turn into a holiday resort for the Danish seniors. However, the financial crisis came in 2008, and none of the projects could be completed. The workers dropped their tools and left.