Home / Faculty / Tom Dinell



Professor Emeritus of Urban and Regional Planning
MPA, University of Michigan, 1950

Areas of Interest: Planning theory; citizen participation; social policy; professional practice; conflict resolution
Email: dinell@hawaii.edu

Current Activities

  • Emeritus Professor, Urban and Regional Planning
  • Co-chair, Honolulu Age-Friendly City Initiative Steering Committee
  • E Noa Corporation, consultant
  • O‘ahu Metropolitan Planning Organization, Citizens Advisory Committee, Member
  • Accessory Dwelling Units Ordinance, Advocate
  • Urban Land Institute Hawai‘i, UrbanPlan Instructor and Volunteer
  • American Planning Association, Hawai‘i Chapter, Ethics Instructor

1996 – 2013 • Consultant in urban and regional planning, management, Plan Pacific (County of Maui – Land Use) social policy, and facilitation

Clients included: John M. Knox & Associates (e.g.: Queen Liliʻuokalani Trust Keahuolū Lands; Hawai‘i Cruise industry Study; County of Maui Affordable Housing Study; Analysis of Future Development for Hawaiian Electric Company)

  • AARP, Complete Streets, Lead Volunteer
  • Chris Hart and Partners (County of Maui – General Plan)
  • E Noa Corporation, Honolulu, Hawai‘i
  • State of Hawaii, Office Planning (Coastal Zone Management; Rural Lands)
  • Catholic Charities USA (Working Poor; Poverty)
  • Hawai’i Lawyers Care, Honolulu, Hawaii

1965 – Professor of Urban and Regional Planning • University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii

1991- Part time instructor (Introduction to Planning; Professional Planning Practice), member of student committees, and participating faculty member

Concurrently-held Positions (selected) while at the University of Hawaii

  • 1985 – 88 Director, Program on Conflict Resolution (Hewlett Foundation, principal funder)
  • 1969 – 86 Chair, Department of Urban and Regional Planning
  • 1975 – 81 Principal Investigator, Coastal Zone Management Project (State of Hawaii, principal funder)
  • 1979 – 80 Principal Investigator, Science, Engineering and Technical Policy Project
  • 1971 – 76 Director of Community Interaction, Hawaii Environmental Center (Ford Foundation and National Science Foundation, principal funders)
  • 1970 – 73 Director, Model Cities Resident Research and Planning Centers (City and County of Honolulu, principal funder)

Consulting Services (selected) while at University of Hawaii

  • 1986 – 88 Japan Association for Planning Administration, Kawasaki and Ogaki, Japan
  • 1986 University of the Aegean, Athens, Greece
  • 1984 Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, Honolulu, Hawaii
  • 1984 Department of Planning and Economic Development, Hawaii


1965 – 66 • Harvard University, Graduate School of Public Administration (now the Kennedy School), Cambridge, Massachusetts. Post Graduate Study (Career Education Award Fellowship, National Institute of Public Affairs’)

1948 – 50 • University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan; Master of Public Administration (Metropolitan Community Fellowship, Taxation Fellowship)

1945 – 48 • Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island; Bachelor of Arts (Political Science) (Phi Beta Kappa, High Honors, Magna Cum Laude)

CZM Staffing Study Contact (2009 -): Provide recommendations to State Office of Planning on way to attract and retain Coastal Management staff at both the state and county levels as described in the “The CZM (Coastal Zone Management) Staffing Study”.
Type: Research

  • Socio-Economic Impact of “Critical Habitat” Designation for the Keahuolu; Lands of Queen Liliʻuokalni Trust, 2013 (with John Knox).
  • Income Inequality: A Root Cause of Economic and Social Problems in the United States, July 2012.
  • Alleviating the Shortage of Affordable Dwellings Through ‘Ohana Housing, June 2010
  • The High Speed Bus: The Unexamined Transit Alternative, January 2007.
  • Housing Conundrums and Effective Housing Policies, April 2010.
  • Projected Growth in Honolulu Service Area Through 2030, A Report Prepared for Hawaiian Electric Company, July 2007. (with John M Knox).
  • Maui Island Housing Issue Paper. A Discussion Paper for the Plan Update, December 2006. (with John M. Knox)
  • A Proposed Approach to the UHM-Mō‘ili‘ili Connection, March 2005.
  • The Land Between: Renewing Hawai‘iʻs System of Land Use Regulation and Planning, American Planning Association, Hawai‘i Chapter, September 2005. (with Robin Foster)
  • A Modest Proposal to Increase the Supply of Rental Housing, August 2004.
  • Carrying Capacity and Sustainable Tourism, January 2001.
  • A Gathering Place For All Hawai‘i, October 1999.
  • Do the Large Land-Owning Estate Make for Better Outcomes for the People of Hawai‘i? American Institute of Architects, Hawai‘i Chapter, 1997.
  • Living in Waikiki: a Report on Interviews with 48 Waikiki Residents. Prepared for the Planning Department, City and County of Honolulu, Honolulu, Hawai‘i, July 1997.
  • “Planning in Hawaii: 1959 to 1995 – A Breathtaking Journey.” 1995 Hawaii Congress of Planning Officials, Lihue, Kaua‘i, September 1995.
  • Principal Writer, Transforming the Welfare System, a Position Paper of Catholic Charities USA, December 1993.
  • Principal Drafter, Catholic Charities Long-Range Plan 1991-95, November 1991.
  • “Settling Differences: Alternative Energy Developments and Citizen Opposition.” Working Paper Series: 1988-1. Honolulu: Program on Conflict Resolution, University of Hawaii, 1988. (with John Goody)
  • “Hawaii: Planning for Paradise.” Ekistics. May-June 1987, pp 153-57.
  • A Sourcebook on Dispute Resolution in Planning School Curricula. Washington D.C.: National Institute for Dispute Resolution, 1987. (with John Goody)
  • “The Planning of Hawaii’s Future.” Proceedings of the Conference on the Church and University in Dialogue: Toward a Just Society. Honolulu, Hawaii, 1986.
  • “The City as Networks of Relationships.” International Symposium on Regional Information Systems, Honolulu, Hawaii, July 1986.
  • “The Relationships of the University of the Aegean with its Host Island Communities.” Vouliagmeni, Greece: Workshop on Planning the University of the Aegean, June 1986.
  • “Patterns of Resource Disputes in Hawaii.” Honolulu, Hawaii: Seminar on Conflict Resolution for Energy Siting and Land Use, February 18, 1986.
  • “Tools in Search of a Vision: The Tale of Growth Management in the State of Hawaii.” Atlanta, Georgia: Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, November 1-3, 1985. (with Kem Lowry)
  • “Where Do We Grow From Here?–A Citizen’s Perspective.” Honolulu, Hawaii: League of Women Voters, February 20, 1985.California: Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, October 21-23, 1983. (with Kem Lowry)
  • “Hawaii’s New State Plan and Planning Process.” Proceedings of the 1980 Humanities Conference. Honolulu, Hawaii: Hawaii Committee for the Humanities, 1981.
  • “Land Use Zoning in a Developing State.” Third World Planning. Autumn 1980: pp 195-208.
  • “Underlying Planning Issues in Hawaii.” Honolulu, Hawaii: Hawaii Institute Continuing Legal Education, University of Hawaii School of Law, February 1980.