Reprogramming the City – Doing More with What We Have

Reprogramming the City
214 Pages
ISBN 978-1-945971-01-3

“A hopeful anthology of solutions for our hot, crowded planet. Anyone reading Scott Burnham’s essential book will emerge reassured by the transformative power of creativity in the world’s urban centers that is still within our grasp.” – Renée Loth, AchitectureBoston

Reprogramming the City reveals how cities around the world are reimagining and repurposing existing urban assets to benefit residents by doing more with what cities already have, featuring over 40 projects from 17 countries. From billboards in Lima, Peru repurposed to generate clean drinking water, to bus shelters in Umeå, Sweden that swapped their advertising lights for anti-SADD light therapy tubes to give commuters a mood boost during dark winter months, Reprogramming the City uncovers a new spirit of urban repurposing and reuse that is transforming cities around the world.

“This book teaches us the possibilities of re-connecting the cities and the citizens through innovative solutions instigated by the people who best know the needs.”​ – Dr. Atsushi Deguchi​, University of Tokyo​

Scott Burnham

About Scott Burnham (Boston, Massachusetts Author)

Scott Burnham

I am an author, speaker, and strategist specializing in resourceful solutions for cities and increasing creative capital in individuals and communities. Through repurposing and leveraging existing assets, limited resources can become platforms of possibilities. I have created and directed initiatives in over a dozen cities worldwide, curated more than 30 exhibitions in eight nations, and authored of numerous books, publications and articles.

I am the author of Reprogramming the City and curator of the international exhibition series. Reprogramming the City is a global collection of creating resourceful solutions for cities by repurposing existing urban infrastructure, surfaces, systems and other assets for additional use. Reprogramming the City has appeared at DOGA, Design and Architecture Norway, the Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design in Stockholm, Sweden, the Danish Architecture Centre, Copenhagen, Denmark, and the Boston Society of Architects, Boston, MA. I lecture frequently on design, strategy, and resourcefulness and have addressed The World Bank, The World Urban Development Congress, and many other institutions and organizations, as well as serving as a visiting instructor for the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. I am the author of Finding the Truth in Systems: In Praise of Design Hacking, Editor and Co-Author of Urban Play, Editor of the Trust Design series with Volume Magazine, and a contributor to a number of publications including Metropolis, The Guardian, and Architizer.

After 16 years living and working in eight cities and five countries, I’ve returned to Boston, where I am now based. In recognition of my work, I was made a Fellow of the Royal Society for Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce in London in 2010. More information can be found on