Settlement patterns and sustainability

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This paper discusses settlement patterns and sustainability. Generally urbanization is recognised as an inevitable development driven by job opportunities, better service supply, education, and health services, and it is argued that this is the main driver for centralisation. Research based on economic and demographic studies and a large series of interviews problematize this.
In Greenland the historical correlation between settlement pattern and livelihood has been decoupled, so that distributions of jobs and potential earnings to a growing extend is a consequence of political and/or administrative decisions. Based on traditional economic approaches centralization has been implemented to reap the rewards of expected large-scale benefits. However the positive effects on the island economy are limited. The centralization has left regions with limited livelihood and resulted in a lack of utilization of local resources and trade opportunities. Furthermore the growing towns are struggling with an un-sustainable economic situation manly based on public financed jobs or welfare payments and with limited export oriented value creation.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventInternational Congress of Arctic Social Sciences VIII 2014 - Prince Georg, Britisk Columbia, Canada
Duration: 22 May 201426 May 2014


ConferenceInternational Congress of Arctic Social Sciences VIII 2014
CityPrince Georg, Britisk Columbia


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