Luleå is one of the oldest commercial centres in northern Sweden. The Luleå of the future will become a communications centre in the great Barents Euro Arctic region.
Luleå is a transport hub for ore, steel, oil and freight, with trans-shipping between ship, rail and road. The Port of Luleå is one of Sweden´s biggest in terms of bulk shipments and is open for shipping year-round.
Luleå has rail links to both the north and south. Ore trains from the mines in the north run back and forth around the clock. Some of the ore is processed at the steelworks in Luleå and the finished product is sent by rail to rolling mills in Borlänge.
Major highways, the E4 and E10, are vital connections for traffic to and from Finland and Norway. The route along Sweden´s northeastern coast is Sweden´s only road to Russia.
Luleå is also a hub for passenger traffic to and from northern Sweden. Luleå Airport is one of Sweden´s largest in terms of passenger volumes with about one million travellers per year. There are about 15 daily flights both to and from Stockholm, as well as several regular daily flights within the region to Umeå, Gällivare and Kiruna. Charter traffic has increased.
The geographic position and good infrastructure make Luleå a natural communications centre in the Barents region. There are direct connections to Murmansk and Archangel in Russia.
In the broadest sense, communications encompasses not only telephony and computing, but also culture and media. The combination of industry, technology, trade, education and culture provides a solid basis on which to create new channels of communication and new working modes. Closely associated with the establishment of Facebook data center, the Node Pole region encompasses the borroughs of Luleå, Boden and Piteå. The region has the epithet The Node Pole due to its northern position, perfect conditions, bespoke solutions and potential to become a global hub for data traffic.
Luleå has been a mercantile centre for more than 500 years. Commerce is still a significant and growing sector of the economy. Second only to the Municipality, this sector is the largest employer, accounting for about 7,000 jobs. A large variety of branches of trade and most of the major national retail chains are represented in the shopping streets of the city centre, as well as in the shopping centres Skutviken – Notviksstan and Storheden.
Shopping is the heart and soul of the city life. The department stores, galleries, boutiques and cafés attract Luleå residents and people from all around Norrbotten to the city centre. In the evening, a good variety of pubs and restaurants provide them with entertainment and refreshment.
Arcus is one of northern Europe´s largest indoor venues for sports and cultural events, exhibitions, congresses and trade fairs.
Regional theatre company Norrbottensteatern tours throughout the county, but is based at the theatre complex in Luleå. The arts are represented at Kulturens hus (the House of Culture) and in a variety of galleries and venues around the city. Kulturens hus is also where Luleå residents satisfy their appetite for music, theatre and other art forms.
Luleå is also the base for mass media in the region, with two daily papers, Norrländska Socialdemokraten and Norrbottens Kuriren. Regular daily broadcasts are being communicated by Sveriges Radio, Sveriges Television, 24Norrbotten and TV4 Norrbotten.
Luleå is the medical and health care centre of the region. Norrbotten County Council employs 1,500 people in health care and administration.
A County hospital was opened in 1999. Equipped with state-of-the-art medical and communications equipment, the Sunderbyn Hospital adopts an innovative approach to health care. Sunderbyn has no clinics per se; medical attention focuses, instead, on the individual patient.