The construction of the new Siorarsiorfik district, housing, a tunnel, schools, after-school care services and integrated daycare centres will give growth in Greenland a serious kick-start. Since 1979, Greenland’s average growth has been fairly stable at around 1% a year.

This study, incorporating socio-economic calculations and analysis of the new urban development project, is the most far-reaching ever performed in Greenland. It shows that, over the coming 40 years, growth will be at least 2% a year.

“With the large influx of residents to Nuuk, and the visions of the strategy for the capital, sooner or later, we would have needed to build a tunnel to a new residential area and more housing. Establishment of schools and integrated daycare centres can’t wait, and a project of this magnitude is therefore sensible and necessary if we’re to develop Nuuk and Greenland,” says Mayor Asii Chemnitz Narup (IA, Socialist People’s Community).

First Deputy Mayor Justus Hansen (D, Democrats) backs her up:

“Every year, the municipal council earmarks 200 million Danish kroner in the Budget for capital investments in towns and villages. This helps develop the municipality but it’s not sufficient for a project of this size. We can now speed up the development of Nuuk – immediately and all in one go. Another positive aspect is that, with this funding model, the development of the capital generates growth across the entire country.”

Ane Egede Mathæussen (S, Social Democrats), Second Deputy Mayor of Sermersooq Municipality, sees it as an asset that the growth will benefit the whole of Greenland:

“The urban development is generating tremendous growth – the kind of growth most towns and countries can only dream of. Over the next 40 years, this growth will bolster the country’s coffers, giving a boost to the entire country.”

This macro-economic study was conducted by accounting firm EY, based on a model prepared by the Ministry of Finance and Taxes.

The study calculates the socio-economic impact of the construction of 1600 homes, ten integrated daycare centres, three after-school care services for six to eight-year-olds (AKOs), two schools and a school extension.

Each part of the development has been allocated a score in the study. For example, better schools have a positive impact, whereas a larger city with longer travelling times has a negative impact on the score.

The study took six months to complete but, according to the mayor of Sermersooq Municipality, the time was well spent:

“The impact of the project on society was of great importance to the municipal council. We wanted to be sure before we made a decision of this magnitude. None of us are interested in leaving our children or grandchildren with a mountain of debt,” says Asii Chemnitz Narup (IA).