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From gateway to custodian city: Understanding urban residents' sense of connectedness to Antarctica

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 00:07 authored by Elizabeth LeaneElizabeth Leane, Chloe LucasChloe Lucas, Katrina MarxKatrina Marx, Datta, D, Hanne NielsenHanne Nielsen, Salazar, JF
Antarctic “gateway” cities have been characterised primarily as portals through which goods and services from around the world can be transported to the frozen continent. However, recent research suggests that this concept should be expanded to address other forms of connectivity, including those felt by people living in these cities rather than simply passing through them. In this article, we explore the meaning of urban relations to Antarctica in the 21st century, focusing on the Australian city of Hobart. We outline evolving understandings of gateway cities, and of Antarctic gateways particularly; examine Hobart’s diverse connections to the far south; and analyse current public policy related to the city’s “gateway” status. We then report the results of a survey (n = 300) conducted in 2018 to investigate how citizens understand their city’s relationship with Antarctica. Survey results show that residents prioritised ecological concerns over economic or political issues and felt strongly that the city should play a custodian role in the future of Antarctica. Hobartians’ strong sense of environmental and cultural connectedness with Antarctica suggests a need to rethink the concept of Antarctic gateways if policy is to reflect adequately the meaning of this identity to residents of the cities that circle the southern continent.


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Geographical Research










School of Humanities


Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia

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Copyright 2021 Institute of Australian Geographers. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Leane, E., Lucas, C., Marx, K., Datta, D., Nielsen, H., & Salazar, J. F. (2021). From gateway to custodian city: Understanding urban residents’ sense of connectedness to Antarctica. Geographical Research, 59( 4), 522– 536. , which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions. This article may not be enhanced, enriched or otherwise transformed into a derivative work, without express permission from Wiley or by statutory rights under applicable legislation. Copyright notices must not be removed, obscured or modified. The article must be linked to Wiley’s version of record on Wiley Online Library and any embedding, framing or otherwise making available the article or pages thereof by third parties from platforms, services and websites other than Wiley Online Library must be prohibited.

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