connecting people with place

architecture + planning

Creating spaces that transform and delight, GO collaborative provides community planning, arts and open space policy analysis, architectural feasibility studies, and project management services. Our expertise centers on non-profit and community-centered projects, including public art, education, affordable housing, and public spaces.

GRMN Creates: an arts and culture master plan

Grand Rapids, Minnesota

Client: Grand Rapids Arts & Culture Commission
Collaborators: Metris Arts Consulting
Project Dates: Summer 2014 – Spring 2015

See the final Arts and Culture Plan.

The City of Grand Rapids, MN can proudly say it is the home of a rich and vibrant arts community. In an effort to ensure its continued growth and success, the City’s newly formed Arts and Culture Commission embarked upon a ten-year strategic planning effort called GRMN Creates: an arts and culture road map. Working with GO collaborative and Metris Arts Consulting to identify local needs and opportunities, the consultant team worked with the commission to match those ideas with best practices from across the country on how cities of a similar size have used the arts to help grow their economies, enhance their physical environments, and support community development efforts. GO collaborative designed and implemented a citywide public engagement strategy that included town hall meetings, a detailed online survey, focus groups, stakeholder interviews, and social/print media outreach.

Services Provided: Policy Analysis, Policy Strategy Recommendations, Survey Creation, Community Engagement, Social/Print Media Coordination, Report Writing.

Grand Rapids homepage

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Holly Shores Public Art Action Plan

Austin, Texas

Client: Arts in Public Places program, City of Austin
Collaborators: Michael Van Valkenburgh & Associates Inc. (MVVA), landscape architect and master plan lead; McCann Adams Studio, local architect and planner.
Project Dates: Spring – Fall 2013.

See the Public Art Action Plan.

Project Description:
With the Master Plan process led by the Parks and Recreation Department and MVVA underway, the City of Austin’s Art in Public Places program (AIPP) initiated the creation of a Public Art Action Plan for the Holly Shores Master Plan area. The AIPP program sought to ensure that existing and future public art would continue to serve a vital role within the local community. GO collaborative was commissioned to develop the plan and create a framework for future public art commissions.

To understand how community members viewed public art and its potential within the park, GO collaborative met with residents and artists in one-on-one interviews, platicas (small group meetings), a large public meeting, and an Artist Walk and Workshop. The Artist Walk and Workshop gathered artists who are from, or have worked in and around, the East Cesar Chavez and Holly neighborhoods, to talk about how the visual arts currently serve the area.  The artists and GO collaborative explored the site together, gathering input and ideas through writing and conversation.

The final Action Plan will be completed in the fall of 2013 and go before Austin’s boards and commissions before final adoption.

Community Engagement; Public Art Planning.


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20ft Wide – Alley Activation

Austin, TX

Client: City of Austin Downtown Commission
Collaborators: Public City, Fyoog, TBG Partners, Ann Graham, and many, many others
Project Dates: Summer 2013

See the final Downtown Alley Report.

Today, Austin’s downtown area suffers from a critical lack of developed vibrant public spaces.  As a city known for its festivals, live music, and dynamic civic life, Austin has few permanent physical resources to support this identity within downtown. Traditionally seen as utilitarian corridors, Austin’s downtown alleys have long been overlooked for their potential to help fill Austin’s need for activate public spaces in the downtown core. Additionally, there is ever-mounting pressure to create super-block developments.  In the past 15 years, the City Council has vacated and sold off its easement rights for at least 10 downtown alleys to developers.

In Fall 2012, the City of Austin Downtown Commission created a workgroup to examine opportunities for activating Austin’s downtown alleys, in order to contribute to a more vibrant network of people-oriented public spaces in Downtown Austin. The workgroup, which grew over the course of the project, consisted of representatives from the Downtown Commission, the City of Austin, a range of downtown and citywide institutions, individual artists and community activists. The final report, co-written by Lynn Osgood of GO collaborative,  summarizes the workgroup’s findings and policy recommendations, and outlines strategic steps the City of Austin can take to invest in the public spaces of Downtown Austin.

Services Provided: Policy Analysis, Policy Strategy Recommendations, Report Writing


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Urban Parks Workgroup Report

Client: City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department
Project Dates: 2011-2012

See the final Urban Parks Report.

GO collaborative principal Lynn Osgood worked with University of Texas, Texas Law School profession Heather Way to lead a diverse group of stakeholders, representing park advocates, educators, urban planners, policy professionals, and business leaders  among others to create the Urban Parks Workgroup Report.  The team met with experts in the fields of park and play development to learn the most innovative strategies being practiced in other cities.   Together they worked diligently for over a year to analyze where neighborhood parks are needed within the city, strategize on how to integrate best practices from other cites, project possible costs associated with new park development, and examine the resources and policies needed to put park development goals into effect.  Through this work, the group developed a set of recommendations that provides a strategy for reaching of the goal of providing neighborhood parks within walking distance to all citizens in City of Austin.

The report was adopted as an amendment to the City’s comprehensive plan in the Spring of 2012.

Services Provided: Policy Analysis, Policy Report Writing, Presentations to City Boards and Commissions


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Pecan Springs Commons Neighborhood Revitalization

Austin, Texas

Owner: Green Doors
Design Team: Sarah Gamble, Sam Gelfand, and Michael Gatto
Collaborators: Bothne Engineering, MEP Engineering; Koenig Consulting Engineers, Structural Engineering; At Your Service Enterprise, Inc, Contractor
Project Dates: 2009 – 2011

As staff at Austin Community Design and Development Center

Project Description:
The Pecan Springs Commons is a neighborhood revitalization project, including the renovation of six four-plexes and two twenty-four unit apartment buildings. The properties are located in an area of the Pecan Springs Neighborhood known for high crime and absentee landlords. The project provides much needed green, affordable housing with resident amenities, creating a more attractive, sustainable, and desirable place to live within this northeast Austin neighborhood. With a mix of accessible and typical units, residents will include low-income families, military veterans, and individuals transitioning out of homelessness.

ACDDC led the design and renovation of two twenty-four unit apartment buildings, which were largely gutted due to poor maintenance and treatment since their construction in 1984. The 10,000 square foot renovation included 19 typical units, 3 accessible units, laundry, shared community spaces, and property management offices. The project earned a 4-star ratings in the Austin Energy Green Building program rating tool for multi-family projects.

Services Provided:
As staff architect at ACDDC, Sarah Gamble provided Architectural Design and Project Management services.

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Alley Flat Initiative

Austin, Texas

Owners: Non-profit Community Development Organizations and Private Homeowners
Initiative Collaborators: University of Texas Center for Sustainable DevelopmentGuadalupe Neighborhood Development Corporation, and Austin Community Design and Development Center
Project Dates: 2005 – present

As staff at Austin Community Design and Development Center

Media Coverage:
Alley Flat Initiative fits small, green homes in unexpected places. Austin Culture Map, February 9, 2012.
Alley Flats and Urban Growth. KUT news, August 3, 2010.
The Alley Flat Initiative: What Fits in Your Backyard? Rare Magazine, April 30, 2010.
Pecha Kucha presentation. February 2009.

Project Description:
The Alley Flat Initiative proposes a new sustainable, green affordable housing alternative for Austin. “Alley Flats” are small, detached secondary dwelling units designed for urban, infill lots. The units are customized for existing conditions and range from 550 to 850 square feet. The Initiative utilizes existing infrastructure, celebrates neighborhood character, and provides much needed affordable housing to households 80% median family income and below.

Services Provided:
As AFI Coordinator from 2009 to 2012, Sarah Gamble provided a variety of services to AFI clients, volunteers, and initiative collaborators, including: Project Management; Advocacy / Public Presentations; Volunteer Coordination; Event / Exhibition Planning; and Research. Her work on AFI from 2009 to 2010 was funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts through the University of Texas Center for Sustainable Development.

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