Govalle Neighborhood Pool

March 2020   Austin, TX


  • City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department


  • Jose I. Guerra, Inc.
  • Waterscape Consultants
  • AEC
  • McCann Adams Studio
  • Taniguchi Architects
  • Altura Solutions

An expansion and enhancement of a community amenity through robust community input.

Key Points

A beloved neighborhood asset gets a new life.

Environmental Justice

Despite its origin as a Swedish word for “good soil,” Govalle, a neighborhood with a large Hispanic population, has experienced environmental injustice through tank storage and other waste products. The restoration, expansion, and enhancement of the pool and surrounding amenities will be an amenity for a community that has been overlooked and under resourced.

Art as Healing

The project commissioned two artists to install a sculpture and a mural at the pool. The sculpture sits in a rain garden, which emphasizes and enhances the resilience of the community. The mural will be a result of extensive community engagement.

Community Memory

The design team worked with the neighborhood association to engage community members about their memories at the pool. The meeting was conducted in English and Spanish.

The City of Austin allocated funding to develop a new neighborhood pool at Govalle Park in east Austin that meets the City’s new standards for neighborhood pool amenities. Govalle Park is a historic park that is now serving a rapidly growing population and new connections including the recently completed Southern Walnut Creek bike trail. Asakura Robinson served as the prime consultant on the new pool design, which will incorporate an expanded lap pool, new activity pool, a bathhouse, shade structures and pool deck area. The project is built around a focus on input from neighborhood residents and local stakeholders. This public input has given the team valuable knowledge on design preferences, essential amenities, site concerns and rich stories of how the park has been used over the past half century.


The robust public input portion of the project set a new standard for community engagement on City of Austin projects, and included three community meetings as well as presentations to the neighborhood association, engaging local stakeholders in a series of hands-on exercises, a site walk-through and bilingual presentation and input materials. Upon completion, Asakura Robinson will have provided a conceptual master plan for pathways to the pool area in addition to full design and construction administration services for the neighborhood pool upgrade.

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