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SKETCHBOOK: a creative tool and a way of life that celebrates design and drawing as vital ways to see and value culture, to discover ideas, and to envision a better world.


Jim's placemaking work has creatively spanned town planning, urban design and landscape architecture for almost four decades.  It is people-centered, with the ultimate purpose of creating places that help each individual to flourish physically, intellectually, creatively and spiritually.  He is a sought-after collaborator and creative spark plug for project teams, where his strategies, concepts and rapidly sketched ideas shape long-range planning frameworks, developing project designs, computer animations and ultimately the built environment. In this role, he has enjoyed successful creative collaborations with numerous national design firms.  This work has produced a long and growing list of award-winning “vision” plans that will influence decision-makers, help shape growth and guide placemaking  in scores of communities over decades.  He has led successful design initiatives for historic downtowns, urban villages, TODs, transportation corridors, regional river and stream systems, greenway networks and heritage regions.

Jim's  involvement on your project can include some or all of the following:

Jim has designed successful project approaches for hundreds of complex urban design challenges, for projects ranging in scale from regional tourism strategies to downtown revitalization plans to design concepts for transit stations; he has developed and taught design process coursework at two universities.  He can coach your team through a "process of discovery" that provides a project road map, guides team efforts, builds consensus and results in appropriate, creative solutions.

Jim can help your team mine the project's wide spectrum of environmental, historical and cultural influences to arrive at a central guiding "big idea."  This is a powerful organizing theme or concept for your project that ties the parts--from overall organizing structure to details--into an organic whole. The concept is often fleshed out with key guiding principals, which help clarify intent, so that short-term decisions are made in the context of long-term goals.  These efforts can also extend to branding ideas, logo concepts, and other tools to flesh out the project vision.

Jim's fresh, engaging drawings enjoy an international demand and following, and have been featured in scores of books and periodicals.  Jim's drawings are not intended as slick illustration at the end of the creative process, but as catalysts for ideas and conversation at its beginning.  They represent creative synthesis in the form of freehand, concept-level diagrams, plans, sections and perspective sketches that bring abstract ideas to life, fostering dialog and influencing thinking very early in the project.

Jim has brought his land planning, design, visualization and consensus-building skills to over 35 multi-day urban design charrettes. He can work with your team to outline a preparation strategy, then create solutions and imagery on site to inform and inspire team members and community leaders.



  1. Hallo James,

    habe ebenfalls Ihr Buch bei Amazon gekauft und kann nicht auf die Videos zugreifen. gibt es einen anderen link?

    vielen Dank


    1. Peter, send your email address to me at jim@townscape.com and I will send you a link.


    2. Peter, sende deine E-Mail-Adresse an mich unter jim@townscape.com und ich werde dir einen Link senden.

  2. Dear James Richards : would like to get back into landscape garden sketching older guy thanks steve