Until World War II, Greenland was a relatively close Danish colony with a native population of hunters and fishermen. Most Greenlanders lived in houses made from turf or old crates. 30% of all deaths were due to tuberculosis. The war changed the view on colonization, and Denmark had the choice between selling Greenland to the US or decolonizing. The Danish government initiated and funded a quick rising of homes, schools, hospitals, power stations, etc. It meant an extremely rapid modernization of the Greenlandic society. It was in the 50s, expected that Greenland in a decade or two would be able to finance itself. The income should primarily be based on fishing cod combined with mining. The Danish government tried to gather the population in the major towns. The number of settlements halved while the population doubled due to the improved health. However the car disappeared from the waters around Greenland, and mining never developed into a major industry. Oil has never been found. And island operation places a crucial role in this. The larger and growing imports of consumer goods combined with falling exports means that Greenland has a growing trade deficit. It is the Danish government which finances half of the countries public expenditure. In this vast land area there are only 56,000 inhabitants spread over 17 towns with the capital Nuuk being the largest with nearly 17,000 inhabitants and at the East Coast being the smallest with only 430 inhabitants. In addition, Greenland has 56 settlements with 30 to 450 inhabitants. In practice, Greenland works as 73 island operated societies that offers unique management and engineering challenges, and belongs to the world's most complex and expensive communities. Because it's a small population and the backlog in education, Greenland is entirely dependent on external labor force on a variety of key areas, such as administration, health, education and engineering, etc. Even though Greenlandic is the official language, large parts of the central administration and management of most companies is carried out in Danish. The relatively large population that primarily speak Greenlandic and practice is decoupled. It also means that people with poor or limited knowledge of Greenland make larger number of key decisions. The location of Greenland settlements are chosen in order to have an easy access to the marine living resources. Several towns and settlements are located on small islands without enough fresh water to the current population not to mention the fish factories. Every town or settlement has its own power plant water supply system etc. Because of the ice coverage northern Greenland is only navigable during summer and autumn. In the Northern most district of Kanak sailing is only possible for two to three months. So the district receives only two annual supply ships. On the East Coast is a combination of winter sea ice and adrift sea ice from the polar basin, which block the sailing for seven to ten months a year. And even in the South Greenland, the drift sea ice impede navigation a longer period of. Everything has to be planned. If you do not get the building parts on the last ship to Kanak, construction work has to be postponed by 11 months. Several places in Greenland are characterized by powerful storms, which means that rain or drifting snow enter into the building structures and destroy houses and their insulation. Additionally there's a low humidity that means that wooden structures dry out and allows for more penetration of rain and snow. North Greenland has a permafrost where the top frost layer melts in summer. It means that buildings with foundations on permafrost sink and get damaged. If not founded correctly. The same goes for roads, pipelines, sewers, etc. There's a tendency that climate change with its higher temperatures will increase permafrost challenges. Because of the long distances, high mountains and deep fjords, no town or settlement has a coherent road network. Transporters based on helicopter, plane or sailing. There are only eight of the country's towns which have their own domestic airport. Several towns and most settlements only have helicopter or ship connection once a week if with an allowance. Often passenger transport takes place in or during winter in eastern and northern Greenland by dogsled or snow mobile. The limited transport infrastructure means that all settlements need to have their supplies assured. In addition to a stall which is adapted to the population, each resident has its own fuel depot and sales. Every town and settlement runs a school. For smaller settlements, children are gathered after primary school in the nearest town for further schooling. All 17 towns with just one exception has a hospital and settlements have a small health center often manned by a health professional with just a short training background. Hospitals in towns are only open during the day and they are not always manned with medical staff. This means that the health care system has to evacuate ill persons to the nearest hospital, often carried out by helicopter to the nearest airport, and further on by plane. You may ask why Greenland continues to maintain decentralized settlement pattern, when it causes so many infrastructure challenges and costs. Part of the explanation is that individual settlements unsightly couple to exploit the local resources and in a country with such vast distances, it will complicate exploitation if there was no nearby community. Another part of the explanation is that through modernization, lots some have been spend on construction of infrastructure, housing, etc in a number of towns. For some of these towns the economic base was largely reduced with the disappearance of cod. Since there's a high unemployment rate in Greenland, especially among unskilled workers, it does not make sense to move to other places. It makes sense to utilize the infrastructure and homes that are their now. Of small such settlements, public expenditure measured per capita as the same as in towns. And if you only look at the population in working age who are hunters and fishermen, public spending is significantly low in settlements. This is because population in settlements are far more sufficient than in towns. It's the population and settlements that provide traditional foods to towns from catching seals, walrus, small whales, reindeer, moscacs, birds, etc., therefore decentralized settlement pattern makes sense although it's complicated and costly.