Art in Private Development

The goal of Scottsdale Public Art is to achieve high-quality art in publicly accessible places. We serve as a catalyst in shaping people’s experiences of Scottsdale’s present and future places, ensuring we remain one of the country’s “most livable cities.” As a central defining characteristic of our community, public art enhances Scottsdale’s unique character, image, and identity. We feel that public art contributes to a strong sense of place, neighborhood pride, and sense of discovery, and it fosters social interaction. In addition, when you integrate artwork and artists into the planning and design of our built environment, it will increase the quality of that environment by facilitating opportunities of engagement, creating memory points, and providing functional and aesthetic continuity. 

The city of Scottsdale passed the Art in Private Development ordinance in 1985. Any development zoned as a planned block development (PBD) in the downtown district allocates 1% of the building valuation toward original works of art. The artwork shall be installed and maintained in accordance with the Art in Public Places program. The developer may select a visual art professional to act as a consultant, or the developer may utilize the resources and services of Scottsdale Arts to select the artist and artwork. Original artwork is to be placed within the PBD on a site that considers the following: unobstructed public viewing and accessibility, public safety, and interior and exterior use of patterns that are consistent with existing or future architectural and natural features. The developer also has the option to pay an amount equal to 1% of the building valuation or any portion of the obligation not used on site into the cultural trust fund in lieu of installing original artwork in the PBD.  


The following are exempt from the Cultural Improvement Program requirement:  

  • Interior tenant improvements.  
  • Residential uses in a PBD overlay district that was rezoned before January 1, 2013.  
  • Dwellings, single-family and two-family.  
  • Properties zoned “special campus,” in which Cultural Improvement Program elements have been included in the development plan.  

Public Art Submittal Requirements 

All applicants with an art obligation are advised to meet with Scottsdale Public Art staff for an initial briefing prior to planning submittal to review procedures and discuss preliminary plans.  

It is also recommended that the project applicant seek the advisement, review, and comment of Scottsdale Public Art staff prior to artist/art selection. The Scottsdale Public Art staff is available to advise on artist opportunities, artist resources, art and site compatibility, viability, installation, and maintenance of the artwork. Hiring a professional consultant experienced in public art is the best assurance of choosing and executing a successful public artwork.  

The Scottsdale Public Art Board generally approves Art in Private Development projects in three stages: 

Stage 1: Preliminary public art plan/schematic design

Stage 2: Final art plan/design 

Stage 3: Certification

For more information, please see our “AIPD Guidelines and Procedures for Meeting Ordinance Requirements” document.

Contact Us: 

Tanya Galin

Phone: 480-874-4629

Email: [email protected]

Scottsdale Arts, 7380 E 2nd Street, Scottsdale, AZ 85251