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A rendering of what Kapolei could look like was done by Group 70 International. (http://www.group70int.com/)

Achieving Smart Growth in ‘Ewa, Hawai‘i

A University of Hawaiʻi Sea Grant College Program (UH Sea Grant) article on smart growth and community design in ‘Ewa, Hawaiʻi, is the featured story on the National Sea Grant Office website.  View the full article here.

“What we do on land directly impacts the ocean, making sustainable development critical to coastal ocean health,” said Kathryn R. MacDonald, communications specialist in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Sea Grant Office.

In July 2013, the Honolulu City Council voted unanimously to approve the revised ‘Ewa Development Plan, which was then signed by the Mayor of the City and County of Honolulu. The adoption of this plan has profound implications for smart growth in Hawai‘i.

Officials from the City and County noted that Sea Grant and the Environmental Protection Agency played a critical role in the development plan update.  With their involvement:

It brought much more attention to the idea of ‘placemaking’ and stressed that new developments should create identifiable and easily accessible town and village centers; highlighted the need for improved connectivity to reduce the problems associated with pod subdivisions; and showed the importance of supporting multi-family residential use above the first floor in commercial centers, which encourages walkability and vibrancy of the community even after the stores close.”

Geoff Anderson, President and CEO of Smart Growth America, said:

These changes are an exciting development for O‘ahu and are a testament to the important role that Sea Grant can play in creating great communities with better environmental outcomes.”

Smart building and community design is one of UH Sea Grant’s three centers of excellence.

Founded in 1968, the UH Sea Grant is part of a national network of 32 programs that promote better understanding, conservation, and use of coastal resources. UH Sea Grant works in partnership with the University of Hawaiʻi’s prestigious School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology and NOAA to identify Hawaiʻi’s critical resource management issues and guide cutting-edge scientific research to address these challenges.

For more information, visit:  http://seagrant.soest.hawaii.edu/