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Byron Miller

  • Professor
  • +1 (403) 220-7321

Current Research:

Byron Miller’s recent work focuses on the spatial constitution of social movements, urban governance and governmentality, neighbourhood change and inequality, the politics of urban and regional sustainability, and the social and environmental implications of smart cities. He is the author of Geography and Social Movements (2000) on the University of Minnesota Press, co-editor (with Walter Nicholls and Justin Beaumont) of Spaces of Contention: Spatialities and Social Movements (2013) on Ashgate, and co-editor (with Andrew Jonas, Kevin Ward, and David Wilson) of the forthcoming Handbook on the Spaces of Urban Politics on Routledge.



Byron Miller received his Ph.D. (Geography) from the University of Minnesota in 1995, M.A. (Geography) from Arizona State University in 1984, and B.Sc. (Geography) from The Pennsylvania State University in 1978.  He worked as an urban planner for the city of Scottsdale, Arizona, in the early 1980s, spent three years living and studying in Freiburg, Germany, in the late 1980s, and taught at the University of Cincinnati (1993-2000) before taking his current position at the University of Calgary as Coordinator of the Urban Studies Program. In Calgary he teaches courses on urbanization and urban planning, urban social geography, urban politics and governance, globalization, and field courses on urban sustainability in Europe as well as a seminar on the history and philosophy of geography.  In 2000 Miller was a summer fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.   He has served as a board member of the Urban Geography Specialty Group (1999-2001) and the European Geography Specialty Group (2009-2011) of the American Association of Geographers, as an editorial board member of Geography Compass (2008-present) and Spaces and Flows (2012-present), and as a board member of Sustainable Calgary (2008-present). He has also served on numerous City of Calgary planning committees including the Downtown Urban Structure Plan committee, the ImagineCalgary Urban Governance Working Group, and the ImagineCalgary Steering Committee, and currently serves on the Community Representation Framework Task Force (2016-2018).  He was one of two citizens appointed by Calgary City Council to serve on the Plan-It Implementation Committee (2009-2010), addressing the implementation of Calgary’s new 60 year Master Development and Transportation Plan (“Plan-It”). He can be contacted at:

Selected Publications


2000  Geography and Social Movements: Comparing Antinuclear Activism in the Boston Area, volume 12 in the Social Movements, Protest, and Contention series, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 235 pages.


2013 Spaces of Contention: Spatialities of Social Movements (co-edited with Walter Nicholls and Justin Beaumont), Alderschot: Ashgate.


2017 (forthcoming) Spaces of Urban Politics (co-edited with Andrew Jonas, David Wilson, and Kevin Ward), Routledge.



Articles, Book Chapters, Reviews, Technical Reports

2010 (in press) “’Heart of the New West?’ Oil and Gas, Rapid Growth, and Consequences in Calgary” (first author with Alan Smart), in T. Hutton, L. Bourne, and J. Simmons (eds.) Trajectories of Change in Canadian City-Regions: Processes, Consequences, and New Policy Directions, Oxford: Oxford University Press.


2010 (in press) “The Multilevel Governance of Calgary” (second author with Alan Smart), in R. Young and M. Horak (eds.) The Multilevel Governance of Canadian Cities, Ottawa: McGill-Queens University Press.


2010 (in press) review of Manuel Pastor, Chris Benner, and Martha Matsuoka’s This Could Be the Start of Something Big: How Social Movements for Regional Equity are Reshaping Metropolitan America, Journal of Regional Science.


2010 "Space and Social Movements," in Encyclopedia of Geography, Barney Warf (ed.), London and Thousand Oaks: Sage.


2009 "Is Scale a Chaotic Concept? Notes on Processes of Scale Production," in R. Mahon and R. Keil (eds.) Leviathan Undone? Toward a Political Economy of Scale, pp. 51-66, Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press.


2007 "Modes of Governance, Modes of Resistance: Contesting Neoliberalism in Calgary," in H. Leitner, J. Peck, and E. Sheppard (eds.), Contesting Neoliberalism: Urban Frontiers, pp. 223-249, New York: Guilford Press.


2007 "Scale and the Limitations of Ontological Debate: a Commentary on Marston, Jones, and Woodward," (equal co-author with Helga Leitner), Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 32, pp. 116-125.


2007 "Green Cities are Great Cities: Making Alberta’s Cities Global Leaders in the Fight

against Climate Change," in R. Roach (ed.) Alberta’s Energy Legacy: Ideas for the Future, pp. 133-154, Calgary: Canada West Foundation.


2006 "Castell’s The City and the Grassroots: 1983 and Today," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, vol. 30, no. 1, 207-211.


2006 "The Globalization of Fear," in Dennis Conway and Nikolas Heynen (eds.),

Globalization’s Dimensions: Forces of Discipline, Destruction and Resistance, pp. 161-177, New York: Routledge.


2006 “Toward Smart Growth in Calgary: Overcoming Barriers to Sustainable Urban

Development,” (co-authored with David Couroux, Noel Keough, and Jesse Row), Calgary: Sustainable Calgary, 32 pp.


2006 "Policy Shapes Cities More Than You Might Think," (lead article in special issue on Cities), Dialogues (Journal of the Canada West Foundation), Spring, 4-5.


2004 "Spaces of Mobilization: Transnational Social Movements in a Globalizing World,"

in Spaces of Democracy, Clive Barnett and Murray Low (eds.), Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, pp. 223-246.


2004 "Globalization, Sweatshops, and Glocal Organizing," lead article in a special symposium on sweatshops in Antipode, 36 (4), pp. 575-580.


2004 review essay for special symposium on Carolyn Gallaher’s On the Fault Line: Race,

Class and the American Patriot Movement, ACME, 3, 1, pp. 4-6.


2003  "Space and Contentious Politics" (co-authored with Deborah Martin), lead article for a special issue of the interdisciplinary social movements journal Mobilization on Space and Contentious Politics, 8, 2, 143-156.


2001  "Many Paths Forward: Thoughts on Geography and Social Movements," Political Geography, 20, 935-940.


2001  Review of David Harvey’s Spaces of Hope, Journal of Regional Science, 41, 4, 784-788.


2001  "Geography of Social Movements," International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, Neil Smelser and Paul Baltes (eds) New York and Amsterdam: Elsevier, 14357-14360.


1998  Review of David Harvey's Justice, Nature, and the Geography of Difference, Urban Geography, 8, 777-781.


1998  Review of Tim Cresswell's In Place, Out of Place, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 88, 4, 737-739.


1997 "Political Action and the Geography of Defense Investment: Geographical Scale and the Representation of the Massachusetts Miracle," Political Geography, 16, 2, 171-185.


1994  "Political Empowerment, Local-Central State Relations and Geographically Shifting Political Opportunity Structures," Political Geography, 13, 5, 393-406.


1992  "Collective Action and Rational Choice: Place, Community, and the Limits to Individual Self-Interest," Economic Geography, 68, 1, 22-42.


1992  "Book Review Essay: Young, Iris Marion. Justice and the Politics of Difference,"(co-authored with other members of the University of Minnesota Geography Reading Group), Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 10, 1992, 589-595.


1984  "Land Requirements for the Solar and Coal Options," (co-authored with Martin Pasqualetti), The Geographical Journal, 150, 2, 1984, 192-212.

Photograph of Byron Miller


  • PhD
    University of Minnesota, 1995
  • MA
    Arizona State University, 1984
  • BS cum laude
    Pennsylvania State University, 1978


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