Graduate student opportunities






Selected Policy Reports






Adam Millard-Ball

Assistant Professor


Department of Geography
McGill University,
805 Sherbrooke Street West,
Montreal, QC H3A 2K6
Telephone: (514) 398-3453
Fax (514) 398-7437


My research on environmental policy and transportation is interdisciplinary, and spans the fields of geography, environmental economics, urban planning and environmental studies. Currently, I am working in the following areas:

Cities and climate change
This part of my research addresses the efforts of local governments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. I am interested in explaining the variations between cities in environmental policy – why are some cities more sustainable than others? Another focus is on planning, and specifically the extent to which city climate plans are being implemented and spurring additional efforts to reduce emissions.  

Carbon trading               
My work on carbon trading uses transportation as a case study to understand broader issues with carbon offsets and cap-and-trade. I’m looking at the challenges experienced with current offset programs such as the Clean Development Mechanism, and exploring potential alternatives such as scaling up offsets to the level of an entire sector. I am also interested in the implementation of cap-and-trade, and particularly how cap-and-trade may interact with local government climate policy efforts.

The future of travel demand
Future patterns of travel demand have enormous implications for energy supply and the environment. How will we travel in the future – how far and by what modes? Has the industrialized world reached peak travel? Are developing countries likely to follow the high-travel, high-emissions path of the United States, or will their travel patterns look more like Europe or Japan?

Graduate student opportunities

I plan to take on 1-2 graduate students in 2011-12. If you are interested in working with me on an area related to my own research in urban sustainability, transportation or climate change policy, please send me an email that includes the following information:

  • A brief outline (1-2 paragraphs) of your research ideas and questions you’d like to work on
  • An electronic copy of your academic transcript (unofficial is fine)
  • Your CV
  • How you propose to fund your work (I may have some support available, but typically you will need to find at least part of your own funding). More information is here
  • Please also include your last TOEFL score if English is not your first language

For information regarding admission procedures to the Department of Geography, please see the Department Graduate webpage.


GEOG 494, Urban Field Studies.
This course introduces students to human geography fieldwork in the urban setting. We explore current issues in social and cultural geography, urban studies and planning, using Montreal as our laboratory. This is a hands-on course – students learn by trial and error.

In the classroom, we focus on techniques for understanding the urban environment: questionnaires, interviews, observation, mapping and photography. Much of the class time is spent in the field, putting these techniques into practice. As the semester progresses, the emphasis shifts towards students’ own field research projects.

ENVR 201, Society, Environment and Sustainability (co-taught with Prof. Badami)
This course deals with how scientific-technological, socio-economic, political-institutional and behavioural factors mediate society-environment interactions. Issues discussed include population and resources; consumption, impacts and institutions; integrating environmental values in societal decision-making; and the challenges associated with, and strategies for, promoting sustainability. Case studies in various sectors and contexts are used. 


Current Working Papers                              

Millard-Ball, Adam, “Adverse Selection in an Opt-in Emissions Trading Program. The Case of Sectoral Crediting for Transportation,” Working Paper 97, Program on Energy and Sustainable Development, Stanford University, October 2010.

Journal Articles

Millard-Ball, Adam (2012), “The Tuvalu Syndrome. Can geoengineering solve climate’s collective action problem?Climatic Change, in press.  Preprint

Millard-Ball, Adam and Schipper, Lee (2011), “Are We Reaching Peak Travel? Trends in Passenger Transport in Eight Industrialized Countries. Transport Reviews, 31(3): 357-378.  Preprint

Millard-Ball, Adam and Ortolano, Leonard (2010), “Constructing Carbon Offsets. The Obstacles to Quantifying Emission Reductions,Energy Policy, 38(1): 533-546. Preprint

Millard-Ball, Adam (2009), “Cap and Trade: Five Implications for Transportation Planners,” Transportation Research Record, 2119: 20-26.   Preprint
            (Recipient of Transportation Research Board Fred Burggraf Award)      

Millard-Ball, Adam (2008), “The Municipal Mobility Manager. A New Transportation Funding Stream from Carbon Trading?Transportation Research Record, 2079: 53-61.   Preprint

Celsor, Christine and Millard-Ball, Adam (2007), “Where Does Car-Sharing Work? Using GIS to Assess Market Potential.Transportation Research Record, 1992: 61-69. Preprint

Burkhardt, Jon; and Millard-Ball, Adam (2006), “Who’s Attracted to Car-Sharing?Transportation Research Record, 1986: 98-105.

Millard-Ball, Adam (2002), “Gentrification in a Residential Mobility Framework,Housing Studies, 17(6): 833-856.

Millard-Ball, Adam (2000), “Moving Beyond the Gentrification Gaps. Social Change, Tenure Change and Gap Theories in Stockholm,Urban Studies, 37(9): 1673-1693.

Other Articles

Millard-Ball, Adam (2010), “Where the Action Is. Local governments are taking climate action plans to a new level,Planning, August/September 2010, pp 16-21.

Millard-Ball, Adam and Siegman, Patrick (2006), “Playing the Numbers Game,Planning, May 2006.

Tumlin, Jeffrey and Millard-Ball, Adam (2003), “How to Make Transit-Oriented Development Work,Planning, May 2003.

Millard-Ball, Adam (2002), “Putting on Their Parking Caps,Planning, April 2002.

 Selected Policy Reports

Transportation NAMAs: A Proposed Framework, Washington, DC: Center for Clean Air Policy, January 2010.

Truck Stop Electrification and Carbon Offsets, Los Angeles: Climate Action Reserve, October 2009.

Bus Rapid Transit and Carbon Offsets, Los Angeles: Climate Action Reserve, November 2008.

Taxi 07: Roads Forward, New York: Design Trust for Public Space and Taxi & Limousine Commission, 2007. [With co-authors]

Car-Sharing: Where and How it Succeeds, TCRP Report 108. Washington, DC: Transportation Research Board, 2005. [With co-authors]

Parking Spaces/Community Places. Finding the Balance through Smart Growth Solutions, Washington, DC: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2005. [With co-authors]



Contact Information

Department of Geography

McGill University

805 Sherbrooke Street West

Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3A 2K6

phone: (514) 398-4111 fax: (514) 398-7437



Last updated 16/09/2011