connecting people with place

community engagement

GO collaborative works at the intersection of design, art, and planning to find innovative engagement strategies that can help to connect the public and key stakeholders in authentic and meaningful ways.  We create carefully designed scaled, iterative, and inclusive engagement processes that clearly articulate community values and translate stakeholder ideas into actionable items. Experienced in working with both bilingual and multilingual communities, GO collaborative creates many portals for entry into the larger design and planning process including: tactical events, town halls, design charrettes, focus groups, social media, workshops, and online engagement opportunities.  Our university level experience also enables us to create the project-based measures and metrics needed for evaluating the outreach process, and supporting design and policy initiatives.

City of Austin: Cultural Asset Mapping Project

Client: City of Austin Economic Development Department, Cultural Arts Division
Funders: National Endowment for the Arts, ArtPlace America
Project Dates: Spring 2015 – present

The City of Austin’s Economic Development Department, Cultural Arts Division is implementing CAMP: The Cultural Asset Mapping Project in the fall of 2016. CAMP will include a series of collaborative mapping exercises and community meetings, an online survey and interactive map, and a series of focused community conversations to create a comprehensive, community developed listing of Austin’s cultural assets.

Working with the Cultural Arts Division in parallel with the Drawing Lines project, GO collaborative is working with city staff to design and develop the public engagement strategy, coordinate outreach with elected officials, and design and facilitate a series of 10 public meetings for each of the City’s newly created political districts.

Services Provided: Community Engagement Design, Materials Development, Public Meeting Design and Facilitation

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ADA Transition Plan

Client: City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department
Project Lead: Altura Solutions
Project Dates: Fall 2015 – present

The ADA Transition Plan project brought together Altura Solutions and GO collaborative to help create a new system-wide plan for the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD).  Title II of the ADA mandates that government agencies develop a transition plan and assess all of the agency’s facilities for compliance with the law.  PARD’s transition plan had become outdated and needed to be updated.  Working with Altura Solutions and PARD staff, GO collaborative created a public engagement process that included 2 town hall meetings, and 6 area-targeted focus groups.  The data from the focus groups was analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively, thus allowing for the results to be used by the engineering consultants as part of their computations, and city staff to communicate resident ideas to policymakers.

Services Provided: Community Engagement Planning, Focus Group Design / Facilitation, Town Hall Meeting Design / Coordination


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Forward West!

West, Texas

Client: St. Vincent DePaul for the City of West
Collaborators: KAI Texas, Urban Design; GreenRock, Community Design; UrbanIS, Economic Development.
Project Dates: Winter – Spring 2014

Project Description:
On April 13, 2013, the West Fertilizer Co. plant suddenly exploded. Life in the City of West, Texas was forever changed.  After a year of intense community efforts to rebuild, the city is now engaging in an economic development planning process to envision how they can move forward.  Funded by the Catholic charity, St. Vincent DePaul, the plan seeks to create a roadmap for the City that combines strategies for industrial development, community design, and cultural growth.

GO collaborative is leading the public engagement and cultural development components of the planning process.  Organized around a set of public meetings, a survey, and a series of advisory group meetings, the planning process is being continually informed by community brainstorming and feedback.  Of key importance for the town is recognizing their deep Czech, German, and Latino heritages and finding ways to leverage these cultural assets.  Currently, the planning team is in the process of identifying community resources, strategic partnerships, and key local, state, and federal resources.

Services Provided:
Community Engagement, Survey Research, Cultural Development


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Beltline Stories

Atlanta, Georgia

Client: Art on the Atlanta Beltline

Design Team: Sarah Gamble and Lynn Osgood
Project Date: September to November 2014

Project Description:
The Atlanta BeltLine is a sustainable redevelopment project that will provide a network of public parks, multi-use trails and transit along a historic 22-mile railroad corridor circling downtown and connecting many neighborhoods directly to each other. Originally conceived in 1999, the project vision told hold in the early 2000s and the first trails opened in 2008.

Founded in 2010, Art on the Atlanta Beltline has become the City of Atlanta’s largest temporary public art exhibition. Stretching along the nine miles of completed trails, the exhibition is a celebration of the Beltline and has showcased the work of hundreds of visual artists, performers, and musicians. As described by the organization, the exhibition provides reason for residents and visitors to “gather, connect, and experience something vibrant and dynamic.” The 2014 exhibition features 60 installations and 30 performance pieces.

GO collaborative’s temporary installation, “Beltline Stories” engages Beltline users as an investigation of place. Designers created a series of panels featuring the circular corridor unfurled into a linear route, referencing key intersections and historical perspectives. Visitors were asked to share their personal stories by writing directly on the panels, locating their story location on the map. Together, these intersections and personal stories culminate in a larger and richer understanding of place and its role within the community. The installation is located on the Eastside Trail between Greenwood and Virginia Avenues. Unveiled in September 2014, the panels were filled by visitor stories within less than two weeks.

Services Provided: Design; Installation

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Trail Memories Community Engagement

Austin, Texas

Owner: The Trail Foundation
Design Team: Sarah Gamble and Lynn Osgood
Collaborators: North Loop Signs, sign production and installation
Project Dates: Spring 2013

Media Coverage:
Using Memories to Inspire Projects. KXAN news, Feb 18, 2013. 
Trail Users to Inspire Restroom Remodel. YNN news, Feb 16, 2013.

Project Description: 
With a mission to protect and enhance the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail at Lady Bird Lake, the Trail Foundation (TTF) works to improve and enhance the Trail with infrastructural and environmental projects. In preparation for future projects, including a new restroom at Heron Creek, TTF wanted to engage visitors to fuel a design process with Mel Lawrence Architects. Using arts-based engagement techniques, GO collaborative led the community engagement process, comprised of an on-site installation and a Trail User survey (collected online and on-site). The primary goals of the project were to: celebrate the Trail and the work of The Trail Foundation; gather Trail User feedback about the upcoming Heron Creek Restroom design; and gather user information for future designs efforts.

For the on-site installation, a timeline 36 feet in length was constructed for a one-week period. The timeline featured photos of the Trail’s history and a map of the Trail itself. Trail users were invited to write down their own history as it intersected with the Trail and to identify spots on the map of particular memories. An orange picnic bench was also on-site to draw the attention of passersby and serve as a place to engage users in longer conversations. Over 1700 comments were gathered, filling the front of the boards and stretching onto the backs. A survey followed the on-site installation, asking Trail users further questions about perceptions of the site and its potential development. Over 10 days, over 500 responses were gathered.

It was abundantly clear throughout the process that Austinites and the city’s visitors adore the Trail.  It is not only physically, but emotionally, part of Austin’s central identity and the place people go to feel healthy and connected. Through the responses gathered on-site and on-line, Trail users conveyed a rich picture of how they think about the Trail, and specific ideas to guide the future design processes.

Services Provided:
Community Engagement; Installation Design; Survey Design and Analysis.



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Your Town Planning Program

Mart, Texas

Owner: Mart Community Project
Project Coordinators: Lynn Osgood and Heidi Schmalbach
Collaborators: Austin Community Design and Development Center; Baylor University Oral History Project; University of Texas Department of Art and Art History
Project Dates: January – November 2011

Project Description:
In 2008, an art installation on an abandoned family lot in the small Texas town of Mart became the beginning of a multi-year effort. Residents set out to bring voice to the minority African-American families and unite their stories with the larger community’s visions for revitalizing their town. Focusing on the site of an abandoned football field in the center of town, which was home to both segregated and desegregated high school games, the Mart Community Project (MCP) worked to blur community divides by focusing on the history and beauty of the site itself. Together with Baylor University Oral History Project, local artists, and international artists, the MCP gathers town members of all ages and races to focus on the common goal of bringing back to life this vital piece of community memory.

With funding from the National Endowment for the Arts through a Your Town grant, Lynn Osgood and Heidi Schmalbach collaborated with the MCP to further the community development project and facilitate a three-day community planning event. The charrette brought MCP members and local government officials together with visual and theater artists to catalyze initial efforts at community revitalization, working from the scale of a small art installation to the breadth of the entire town. Community-based theater, video arts, and mapping professionals were creatively woven into the process and yielded a community driven plan for identifying and addressing community needs.

Services Provided:
As an consultant to the Mart Community Project, Lynn Osgood provided project management / coordination, charrette planning, stakeholder management, meeting facilitation, and artist/university coordination services



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Waller Creek is for Lovers

Austin, Texas

Designers/Coordinators: Alex Gilliam, Public Workshop; Lynn Osgood, GO collaborative; Lucy Begg, Thoughtbarn; Greg Esparza, Moontower; Michelle Dahlenburg, Conspire Theatre; Peter Hall, UT School of Design
Project Dates: March – July 2008, and again, September 2009 – June 2010
Media Coverage: Project Blog

Project Description:
As Austin grew as a city, it remained behind many of its peer cities in its understanding of how to activate public space. To address the problem, a group of in-town designers and artists began to gather monthly to experiment with different ways to bring play and delight to the very central, but very neglected Waller Creek. Since these events paralleled the planning of the Waller Creek Tunnel project, the group also experimented with ways to engage people that normally stay away from city-sponsored planning efforts. In one such effort, a blank four foot chocolate cake was brought in to Hope Farmers Market during the East Side Studio Tour. Over the period of the morning, a candy-filled model of the creek area was constructed along with many new ideas for what the future of the area could be.

A year later, these experiments continued under the direction of community-based theater artist Michelle Dahlenburg, who in collaboration with Lynn Osgood and Peter Hall from the UT School of Design, investigated how theater arts could inspire peoples’ understanding of the creek and help them begin to imagine what they would like to see for its future.

Services Provided:
As part of the team of experimental mischievous-makers who aimed to expand the conversation about the future of Waller Creek, Lynn Osgood planned and participated in monthly interventions / collaborations / discussions.


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