I am a writer, researcher, and consultant specializing in maximizing existing resources to create resilient, sustainable solutions for cites, communities, and organizations.
I am a Certified Permaculture Design Consultant and author of five books and numerous articles on topics including adaptive reuse, employing natural systems in cities, self-reliance, creativity, and creating opportunity. I’ve taught and lectured at a number of international universities, and have created and led resourceful design strategies in over a dozen cities worldwide. Among my many speaking credits, I have addressed The World Bank, The World Urban Development Congress, and numerous other institutions and organizations.
My most recent books, 50 Ways to Mine the City and This Could…, draw 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.
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 have now based by work as Permaculture Design Consultant in the Boston area. You can contact me here.
“Even if Scott Burnham has a couple of hard drives full of ideas, as soon as you let him out into your city he comes back with new ideas about how it can be better.”– Director, Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design, Stockholm
“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