Driving forces in the Greenlandic urbanization

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Generally urbanization is recognised as a natural development where the population is mowing into the larger towns driven by e.g. better job opportunities, larger product and service supply and better education and health services, and it is often argued that this is also the driving forces for accelerating changes in the Greenlandic settlement pattern. Resent research problematize to what extent this logic is so simple? Also in Greenland, with its 56.000 inhabitants spread over 17 so-called towns and 58 settlements, there is a clear correlation between settlement pattern and job opportunities. But to a high extent the distribution of jobs and trades are a consequence of political and/or administrative decisions or lack of it. Based on a relatively mechanical reproduction of Danish and European economic understanding a centralization of trade and public service has been implemented to reap the rewards of expected large-scale benefits. This has resulted in limited economic and productivity effect. In this regard the consequences of the extreme Greenlandic island economy and micro state characteristics, where more than half of the public revenues is financed by Denmark and EU, is underestimated. This centralization has left geographical regions with limited livelihood and at the same time a lack of utilization of local resources and trade opportunities. Additionally the Greenlandic so called larger cities are ended in an un-sustainable economical situation manly depending on public financed jobs or social support and with limited export oriented value creation. It will be disused how the previous and present urbanization interact with a sustainable development and what is the core prerequisites for sustainable towns and settlements.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of Artek Event 2014
Number of pages15
Publication date2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventARTEK Event 2014: Urbanisation and infrastructure in the Arctic - Sisimiut, Greenland
Duration: 7 Apr 20149 Apr 2014


ConferenceARTEK Event 2014


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