Scott Associates is an architecture and planning firm, but that description isn’t only a list of available services. It reflects a commitment to an integrated approach. This approach is based upon bringing together the available design and planning tools to address client needs.  

The firm was established in 2004, based on the broad-ranging experience of the founding principal Jim Scott. As an architect and planner he brings a wealth of active professional experience, including twenty five years as an architect with a large portfolio of urban redevelopment work, fifteen years as a community health care executive in leadership and administration, a decade of not for profit management, principal in a landscape architecture and urban design firm, and principal in an urban design and policy planning partnership. Jim also brings a wealth of academic involvement with a long teaching and research history in architecture, urban design, economic development and public administration. He has received awards and recognition in planning and design and was a Not for Profit Fellow at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and Senior Civic Fellow at University of Missouri Kansas City.

Scott Associates works on behalf of our clients to propose a course of action that can address straightforward building design and the multiple layers of planning requirements. Often, our integrated effort includes a role in the client’s strategic thinking and decision process. Our planning capacity can help establish a firm foundation for the client’s decision. With this involvement we are able to employ a depth of capacity to solve problems in architectural design and programming, public policy planning, community engagement, development planning, resource development and organizational strategic planning.

With this range of capacity and successful project execution experience, Scott Associates has served as professional advisor to institutions, financial intermediaries, public agencies and private development groups. With these clients we have acted as principal planner, design architect, executive architect, policy analyst and community facilitator. Scott Associates brings an understanding of interdisciplinary team dynamics and cohesive, integrated solutions to help direct collaborative professional efforts.

To achieve this collaborative cohesion, Scott Associates begins with a thorough diagnostic approach to understand the essential nature of client need.  By promoting a close engagement with our clients, we seek to establish a knowledge of the forces shaping their decisions and priorities.  This method requires a definitive and transparent process - also a regular feature of the firm approach - allowing clear milestones and accountably for performance. The structured approach allows for a creative and mutually engaging problem-solving relationship that brings effective and timely results.

Scott Associates has maintained a professional involvement with many of our clients for decades. Because of the depth of our professional capacity, the firm is regularly engaged to address questions that require a pioneering capacity. So, with both the staying power to sustain working relationships and the innovative insight to explore new frontiers, the firm is a valuable creative partner in seeking appropriate solutions for clients and communities alike.  

Founding Principal Profile

James Scott is a registered architect and a nationally certified planner with a practice that focuses on urban regeneration to promote stable communities. Since 1990, he has frequently served as a consultant to public and private clients, providing expertise in:

  • the design of urban environments
  • public engagement 
  • community development
  • land use planning 
  • site design
  • master planning
  • strategic planning
  • land use planning
  • programming  
  • project management
  • policy development 
  • urban design 
  • architecture

Scott Associates focuses on urban design, architectural design, redevelopment projects and comprehensive community development initiatives with nonprofit organizations. Jim founded the Applied Urban Research Institute, a nonprofit planning and urban development organization, and served as president for over a decade.

Along with his professional practice, Jim also teaches and participates in research efforts as an adjunct professor and guest lecturer in graduate programs for public administration at the Henry W. Bloch School of Management at the University of Missouri Kansas City and Park University.

He was awarded a 2013-2014 Fulbright Senior Research Fellowship in Istanbul, Turkey. Other recent awards include the Kauffman Foundation Reach Award for Entrepreneurship, a 2016 Missouri Preservation Award, a 2016 KCMO Business Journal Capstone Award for Community Impact, the 2016 KCMO Economic Development Corporation Cornerstone Award, the 2016 Jackson County Historical Society Award and the 2017 Historic Kansas City Preservation Award for Innovation in Preservation.  Jim is also a Senior Fellow at the L. P. Cooking Institute of Urban Affairs at the University of Missouri Kansas City.


  • Historic Kansas City, 2017 Innovation in Preservation
  • Kansas City Business Journal, 2016 Capstone Award, Community Impact Winner
  • Missouri Preservation, 2016 Preserve Missouri Award
  • Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, MO, 2016 Cornerstone Award
  • Fulbright Senior Research Fellow, Jim Scott, 2014
  • Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, MO, 2010 Cornerstone Award Finalist
  • UMKC, Senior Civic Fellow, Center for the City, 2004–2006
  • Stanford University Graduate School of Business, Executive Fellow, Stanford Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders, 2002
  • AIA Kansas City Chapter, Leadership in Urban Design, 2001
  • Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, REACHES Award for Organizational Effectiveness in “Entrepreneurial” category, 2000
  • Kansas University School of Architecture and Urban Design, Teaching Merit Recognition,1996
  • APA, Excellence in Planning Award, 1992
  • ASLA, Merit Award 1992
  • ASLA, Honor Award, 1989