Scott’s books are filled with simple-yet-powerful insights. They highlight aspects that were staring me in the face all along but I was too blind to see. Now I can’t unsee them.

Vishal Kataria

I am the author of a number of books on resourcefulness among other topics. My most recent books, 50 Ways to Mine the City, This Could, NatureStructure, and Reprogramming the City illustrate my belief that we have a tremendous amount of assets available for new use to help us through tough times, from repurposing urban structures to using natural systems to repair the damage we’ve done.

I’m also available for freelance work.

This Could: How Two Words Can Create Opportunity in an Era of Limited Resources provides the strategies and tools needed for companies, cities, and individuals to create an abundance of solutions and future opportunities using the objects, assets, and materials we already have in new ways.
Buy the book here.

Reprogramming the City: Adaptive Reuse and Repurposing Urban Objects

Reprogramming the City: Adaptive Reuse and Repurposing Urban Objects features 44 projects from 17 countries showing how people are making cities more livable and resilient by using existing urban objects in new ways.

“A hopeful anthology of solutions for our hot, crowded planet.” – Renée Loth, AchitectureBoston magazine

Buy the book here.

How to Reprogram the City Toolkit: Adaptive Reuse, Repurposing Urban Objects

How to Reprogram the City Toolkit is a 40-page self-guided collection of insights, examples, and exercises to help people discover the untapped potential in their own city.

It is the result of a decade of work, research, and workshops I have conducted around the world to help people improve cities by using existing urban assets in new ways. 

Buy the toolkit here.

nature-centric design and infrastructure

NatureStructure: Infrastructure for Nature is a collection of projects that represent a new generation of nature-centric design and infrastructure.

NatureStructure projects nurture and restore ecosystems, employing nature and natural processes to address the problems human development has created for itself.

Buy the book here.

These books and others are available to purchase online here.

Additional books and publications I’ve contributed to can be found on my Amazon Author’s Page here.

Selected Articles

Below is a sampling of some recent writings on cities, urban nature, resourcefulness, the relationship between trust and design, and more:

By Simply Repairing Infrastructure, We’re Missing Huge Opportunities to Make Cities More Resilient and Responsive to Citizens’ Needs

“Scott Burnham, author of Reprogramming the City, writes that in our era of limited budgets and resources, increasing the functionality of existing infrastructure is a necessary path forward.”

Read the full article here.


NatureStructure: Design That Plays on the Same Team as Nature

“Instead of combating natural forces, NatureStructure represents a new generation of innovative infrastructure that uses the powers and processes of nature as components, providing a framework for a sustainable and coexistent future.”
Read the full article here


Can Urban Innovation Meet Growing Needs?

“To unlock the full potential of our cities and solve pressing problems, we must re-imagine the existing urban infrastructure writes Scott Burnham”
Read the full article here



Ten Innovative Ideas Boston Should Embrace 

“Urban Strategist Scott Burnham presents ten new ideas – inspired by cities around the world – that could revitalize Boston’s urban landscape.”
Read the article on here



Design With Cities, Not For Them

“…[the] city has all the resources it needs; the key to unlocking these resources is seeing the urban landscape not as the end result of a previous creative process, but as the beginning of a new onea landscape to design with, not for.”
Read the full article here


Existing City Infrastructure can be ‘Reprogrammed’

“Across the world, innovative solutions to urban needs are emerging from new uses for existing structures and systems. Officials are joining hands with engineers and corporate R&D teams to improve access to essential resources like water, energy and sunlight, and increase social and environmental wellbeing, by reimagining the potential of the resources they already have.”


Motioning for Transport

“The existing systems for transporting bodies around cities is challenged to keep pace with the numbers, types, and desires of their mobile residents. Due to the lethargy, negativity, or shortsightedness of many city or state municipalities, the citizens have taken it upon themselves to address the matter. A variety of inventive efforts have been enacted in urban centers worldwide, with the improvement of daily life in mind.” 

Feature article, Issue 39