Dr Juan Miguel Kanai
Department of Geography
Senior Lecturer in Human Geography
+44 114 222 7940
Full contact details
Department of Geography
Geography and Planning Building
J. Miguel Kanai is an urban geographer. His work engages the urbanisation of the world under contemporary globalised capitalism. He is specifically concerned with the consequences of intensified inter-territorial competition and the various entrepreneurial strategies adopted by cities and regions in the global South as these are pressured to achieve economic upgrading and provide world-class infrastructure amidst unmet social needs and political contentiousness.
His previously published work includes multiple peer-reviewed articles in international geography and interdisciplinary journals taking stock of the consequences and motivations of culture-led regeneration schemes in Buenos Aires, Argentina as well as the rise of eco-entrepreneurialism in the Brazilian state of Amazonas and the urban and regional implications of Manaus’ rise as a city with global aspirations. He has also published collaborative work questioning urban entrepreneurial strategies in the United States and Morocco, and is currently engaged in a bibliometric project taking stock of the cosmopolitan turn in urban globalization research since the turn of the twenty-first century.
Before moving to the University of Sheffield, he taught at the University of Miami (2008-2015) and was a research officer at the London School of Economics affiliated with the Urban Age project (2005-2006). His teaching experience also includes short-term appointments in planning departments at the University of California, Irvine and the University of Southern California as well as international experience lecturing at the Federal University of Amazonas (Brazil) and Henan University (People’s Republic of China). He holds a PhD in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of California, Los Angeles (2008).
His paper “Paving (through) Amazonia: neoliberal urbanism and the reperipheralization of Roraima” (Environment and Planning A) co-authored with the late Rafael da Silva Oliveira received an Ashby Prize in 2014.
- Research interests
- Neoliberal Urbanism
- City-regional Politics and Regional Development in the Global South
- The Urbanisation of the world
- The Cosmopolitan Turn in Urban Globalisation Research
- Between pacification and dialogue: Critical lessons from Colombia’s territorial peace. Geoforum, 118, 106-116.
- A new landscape architecture : the living fences experience of Buenos Aires. 4D Journal of Landscape Architecture and Garden Art, 55-56, 54-64. View this article in WRRO
- Getting the territory right: infrastructure-led development and the re-emergence of spatial planning strategies. Regional Studies. View this article in WRRO
- Producing localized commodity frontiers at the end of Cheap Nature: An analysis of eco-scalar carbon fixes and their consequences. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 42(5), 828-844. View this article in WRRO
- Peri-urban Promises of Connectivity: Linking project-led polycentrism to the infrastructure scramble. Environment and Planning A. View this article in WRRO
- Cities on and off the map: A bibliometric assessment of urban globalisation research. Urban Studies (Sage). View this article in WRRO
- The pervasiveness of neoliberal territorial design: Cross-border infrastructure planning in South America since the introduction of IIRSA. Geoforum, 69, 160-170.
- Remaking South Beach: metropolitan gayborhood trajectories under homonormative entrepreneurialism. Urban Geography, 36(3), 385-402. View this article in WRRO
- The Detroit Future City. American Behavioral Scientist, 59(3), 369-385.
- Buenos Aires Beyond (Homo)Sexualized Urban Entrepreneurialism: The Geographies of Queered Tango. Antipode, 47(3), 652-670. View this article in WRRO
- On the Peripheries of Planetary Urbanization: Globalizing Manaus and its Expanding Impact. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 32(6), 1071-1087. View this article in WRRO
- Whither queer world cities? Homo-entrepreneurialism and beyond. Geoforum, 56, 1-5.
- Buenos Aires, capital of tango: tourism, redevelopment and the cultural politics of neoliberal urbanism. Urban Geography, 35(8), 1111-1117.
- Paving (through) Amazonia: Neoliberal Urbanism and the Reperipheralization of Roraima. Environment and Planning A, 46(1), 62-77. View this article in WRRO
- Capital of the Amazon Rainforest: Constructing a Global City-region for Entrepreneurial Manaus. Urban Studies, 51(11), 2387-2405.
- Entrepreneurial assemblages from off the map: (trans) national designs for Tangier. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 31(1), 80-98.
- Pavimentando Roraima: a BR-174 como exemplo das lógicas neoliberais de transnacionalização do território na Amazônia Ocidental. Sociedade & Natureza, 24(1), 67-81.
- ENTREPRENEURIALISM IN THE GLOBALISING CITY-REGION OF TANGIER, MOROCCO. Tijdschrift voor economische en sociale geografie, 102(3), 346-360.
- Barrio resurgence in Buenos Aires: Local autonomy claims amid state-sponsored transnationalism. Political Geography, 30(4), 225-235.
- The Politics of Inequality in Globalizing Cities: How the Middle Classes Matter in the Governing of Buenos Aires. Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, 42(8), 1887-1901.
- The Prospects for Progressive Culture-Led Urban Regeneration in Latin America: Cases from Mexico City and Buenos Aires. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 33(2), 483-501.
- Life in the Megalopolis-Mexico City and São Paulo - by Lúcia Sá. Bulletin of Latin American Research, 28(3), 441-443.
- Deindustrialization in cities of the global south. Area Development and Policy, 1-22. View this article in WRRO
- Planetary Urbanization, International Encyclopedia of Human Geography (pp. 159-162). Elsevier
- Regional urbanization: Emerging approaches and debates, Handbook on the Geographies of Regions and Territories (pp. 322-331).
- The twenty-first century rediscovery of regional planning in the global south, Handbook on the Geographies of Regions and Territories (pp. 346-357).
- Urban System in Geography. In International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences Elsevier.
- Teaching interests
J. Miguel Kanai teaches concentrates within the International Development cluster and his teaching interests include the following:
- Urbanisation, Development and the Environment
- Research Methods
- International Field Courses
- Development in Practice