Sketch match

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Sketch Match (interactive design)


Sketch Match is an interactive planning method, developed by Dutch Government Service. A Sketch Match is a series of interactive design sessions lasting up to three days in which participants (citizens, policymakers, farmers and other stakeholders), under supervision of a spatial designer and a process supervisor, analyze and work out the spatial problems in a specific region. With this method, local residents, experts and policy-makers together figuratively board a raft, or in English play an existing match, to draft plans for a specific, well-defined area. The challenge usually involves finding solutions to spatial planning issues that meet a range of different objectives relating to agriculture, water, nature, recreation, cultural history and rural housing. These different aspects are well discussed and weighted before the actual process of designing possible land use scenarios for the studied area. The result of a Sketch Match is a spatial design, in the form of a ground plan, map, book, visual story, model, 3-D GIS visualization, or whatever form suits the project best.


Every Sketch Match consists of three phases:

  • Registration and preparation;
  • STEP 1 Describe the assignment and define the objectives
  • STEP 2 Decide on the format of the sketch match
  • STEP 3 Decide on date and invitations
  • STEP 4 Facilitation arrangements
  • STEP 5 Send invitations
  • STEP 6 Organise a venue
  • STEP 7 Collecting information and participants

Sketch Match Session

The participants are invited to express their expectations regarding the SketchMatch work session. After summarising the expectations and the problems all the participants are invited to go on the field trip to see the real situation of the study area in the field. The Sketch Match session- consists in forming work groups which analise: qualities, problems and potentials. Completion.

  • Main issues found by the work groups.
  • Development of the principles.
  • Integration of all the issues and solutions in one that every stakeholder agrees with.


The project "Room for the River in Cat’s Bend, Romania" aims to develop a number of spatial draft plans for integrated flood management in the Galaţi–Tulcea region in Romania. The project is initiated by the Dutch Government Service for Land- and Water management (Dienst Landelijk Gebied, DLG). Together with the Dutch HKV-Consultants, DLG has formed an international consortium with 4 Romanian partners: Danube Delta National Institute, World Wildlife Fund Romania (WWF), Eco-Counselling Galaţi and ALMA-RO, Bucharest.


  1. Room for the River in Cat’s Bend Romania – INTERNAL REPORT- DDNI Contact.

The author of this article is UNIVE team
The article has been reviewed by Plan Bleu and PAP/RAC
Please note that others may also have edited the contents of this article.