Scott Bernstein

Position title: Senior Fellow

Scott Bernstein is the Founder and Director Emeritus, Innovation of CNT.

Scott leads CNT’s work to understand and better disclose the economic value of resource use in urban communities, and helps craft strategies to capture the value of this efficiency productively and locally.

He studied at Northwestern University, served on the research staff of Northwestern’s Center for Urban Affairs, taught at UCLA and was a founding Board member at the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Center.

President Clinton appointed Scott to the President’s Council for Sustainable Development, where he co-chaired its task forces on Metropolitan Sustainable Communities and on Cross-Cutting Climate Strategies and contributed to other federal advisory panels on global warming, development strategy, and science policy. He helped write a climate change strategy for the first 100 days of the new Administration. Scott is a Fellow of the Center for State Innovation; a Board Member of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and Congress for the New Urbanism; works with governors, mayors and metropolitan organizations across the US; and helped create the Chicago Climate Action Plan at the request of Mayor Richard M. Daley. Scott also offered strategies for incorporating location efficiency into Memphis Mayor A C Wharton’s visionary plan to reduce the city’s poverty rate by 10% in 10 years. CNT is a signer of the Charter of the New Urbanism and Scott is a member of the Urban History Association, which includes urbanists old and new.

Some key ideas in Scott’s work are that successful urban and metropolitan economies are “high-road,” that is, they provide higher wage, lower waste and most inclusive economic pathways; that they work best if founded on economies of scope or network economies as opposed to simple economies of scale, and that communities contain assets that too often are hidden, disconnected or poorly deployed; all of which are changeable conditions. A beneficial result of these ideas is a blurring of the lines between “consumers” and “producers” of public goods.