Scott Burnham: author, keynote speaker on sustainable cities, adaptive reuse and resourceful solutions for resilient cities

I am an author and keynote speaker who provides companies, cities, and individuals with the strategies and tools needed to respond to limited resources with an abundance of creativity.

My most recent book, This Could: How Two Words Can Create Opportunity in an Era of Limited Resources, draws on my decades of research and work around the world to help people find solutions and opportunities using existing objects, assets, and materials in new ways. My other books include Reprogramming the City, the toolkit How to Reprogram the City, NatureStructure: Infrastructure for Nature, Urban Play, and Trust Design.

I have created resourceful design strategies in over a dozen cities worldwide, and have addressed The World Bank, The World Urban Development Congress, and numerous other institutions and organizations.

I am the founder of Reprogramming the City , a global initiative encouraging cities to repurpose and reuse existing urban assets to improve quality of life and ecological health. When I am not writing or speaking, I create exhibitions to explore new ideas for resourcefulness and innovation; to date, I have created more than 30 exhibitions in eight nations.

In recognition of my work, I was made a Fellow of the Royal Society for Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce in London in 2010.

After many years living and working in eight cities and five countries, I am now based in Boston. You can contact me here.

Things People Say…

“Working with Scott was like a breath of fresh air – he was able to get inside my head and understand our business, then propose creative ways forward to increase customer engagement. He’s fun to work with on creatively smart solutions.” 

– Derek Elley, Ponoko

“The number one up-and-coming disruptor on legacy cities and new ways of thinking about infrastructure and public space.”

– Anthony Flint, Lincoln Institute

“Scott’s keynote presentation on creating platforms for economic and creative engagement in cities provided members with new instruments and new synergies to foster innovation and creativity in their own cities or businesses.” 

– Line Algoed, World Urban Development Congress

“Burnham’s approach is aimed at advancing issues of urbanism and public engagement, transforming existing infrastructure into sites where a diverse public can experiment with new technologies, experience new ways of imaging the city and generate new social relations that alter the urban lexicon.” 

– David Bruce, Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, University College London

Scott is a natural public speaker with a friendly and relaxed story telling approach. He uses both image and film to complement his presentation. His work all around the world is fascinating and a delight to learn about.”

– Daisy Leitch, 5×15