Director of Urban Design
tford at m-group.us
Tom Ford’s professional planning career spans more than 20 years, primarily in California. During that time, Tom has developed an ability to initiate a project, identify problems, and develop solutions in a timely manner. The projects he has completed are primarily urbanist in their approach and vision. His present responsibilities at M-Group include providing an urban design focus to the firm’s consulting work as well as collaborating directly with Bay Area cities as an extension of their staff on targeted projects. Tom is particularly interested in the cultural and physical contexts in which large and complex projects are envisioned and developed. He is highly successful in maintaining good client relationships and is valued by both clients and team members for his collaborative design approach, work ethic, sense of humor, and communication skills.
From 2010 through 2015 Tom lived in Hong Kong and Shanghai providing planning and urban design services as a consultant to the Asia offices of international design firms. That international planning and urban design work followed many years of California experience as a team leader, preparing transit-oriented designs, urban design studies, and comprehensive planning projects for complex sites and programs. During his career, Tom has received awards on both sides of the Pacific Ocean for his urban design and comprehensive planning work, from various state and local chapters of the American Planning Association to the Hong Kong Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.
Tom’s career started in the professional theater after earning his undergraduate degree in Dramatic Art at the University of California, Davis. Following a number of years in the professional theater in San Francisco, including nonprofit arts management, performance, scenic design and stage management as a member of Actors Equity Association, Tom transitioned to urban design and architecture. He earned a Master of Architecture degree at the University of California, Berkeley while serving an internship in the San Francisco office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. He then launched his architecture and planning career with a five-year period in the office of Peter Calthorpe. During Tom’s years at Calthorpe Associates, the Congress for the New Urbanism was founded and Tom is a Charter Signatory. Tom presently serves on the Urban Design Committee of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.
In his spare time, Tom is presently developing Pacific Crossings, an iBook of illustrated short stories drawn from his time in Asia. Tom’s drawings have been published in Great Streets, by Allan B. Jacobs and The Regional City: Planning for the End of Sprawl, by Peter Calthorpe and William Fulton. Since 2002, always in concert with his son, Tom has seen the Chicago Cubs play baseball in over 16 ballparks in cities and towns across North America, including the village of Cooperstown, New York. In 2017, they will add two more stadiums to their list, seeing the World Champion Cubs play in Las Vegas and Baltimore.