How to Reprogram the City is a 40-page toolkit that introduces people to repurposing urban objects and how to discover hidden potential in their 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.
The toolkit provides people with the tools to address a pressing problem: the new reality facing cities is one of limited resources. Whether financial, spatial, or material, the content of cities is finite. Yet the context of that content – how we use the assets we already have – is where the opportunity exists to respond to increasing urban needs using limited resources.
The dozens of workshops I have led in numerous cities have honed my abilities to get people to think outside the box – to move their thinking from “this is” to “this could” – and shown me the most effective way to provide them with the tools to improve life in their city using what they already have.
It has been, and continues to be, a tremendous privilege to work with groups of people from numerous cities on repurposing urban objects to do more with the structures, surfaces and systems in their city. I realized though that a toolkit can reach far more people than I am able to. In short: it is time to open up the opportunities that urban resourcefulness can create.
This toolkit is meant to serve as a companion to the Reprogramming the City book. The book is a global overview of how the urban landscape’s untapped potential is being utilized to improve life in cities using what already exists in new ways.