Campus to celebrate World Town Planning Day on Nov. 7

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Dolores Foley, (808) 956-2780
Chair, Urban and Regional Planning
Posted: Oct 30, 2014

Blue Planet Foundation CEO Jeff Mikulina
Blue Planet Foundation CEO Jeff Mikulina

The Department of Urban and Regional Planning (DURP) will celebrate World Town Planning Day 2014 at UH Mānoa on Friday, November 7, from 6-7:30 p.m., in Crawford 105 (2550 Campus Road).  This year’s theme is “Ecosystem-Based Adaptation: Using Nature to Respond to Climate Change.” The event, which is co-hosted by the American Planning Association Hawai‘i Chapter, will include a presentation, panel discussion and awards ceremony. It is free and open to the public.


Jeff Mikulina, chief executive officer of the Blue Planet Foundation, will give a presentation titled, “Planning to Act: Harnessing (Human) Nature to Solve our Climate Challenge.”

The Blue Planet Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to clear the path for clean energy in Hawai‘i. Through collaboration and advocacy, Blue Planet champions scalable policies and programs to transform Hawaii’s energy systems to clean, renewable, energy solutions. Prior to working with Blue Planet, Mikulina served as director of the Sierra Club, Hawai‘i Chapter, for a decade. He has been awarded an EPA Environmental Hero Award, selected as one of “40 Under 40” by Pacific Business News, chosen as one of “10 for Today” by Hawaii Business magazine, and recognized by the Honolulu Star-Bulletin as among “10 Who Made a Difference.” He received a Master’s of Science degree in engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign studying decision theory.

Panel discussion

A three-member panel discussion, “Ecosystem-Based Adaptation: Using Nature to Respond to Climate Change,” will be led by Daniele Spirandelli, PhD, an Assistant Professor in DURP and Sea Grant College.  The panelists are:

  • Greg Guannel, PhD, The Natural Capital Project, Stanford University.
  • Wendy Meguro, SMArchS, Assistant Professor, UHM Architecture and Sea Grant College.
  • Suwan Shen, PhD, Assistant Professor, DURP.

Many recent climate change adaptation initiatives have focused on the use of technologies and the design of climate-resilient infrastructure.  However, there is growing recognition of the role that healthy ecosystems can play in helping people adapt to climate change.  Hawai‘i’s healthy ecosystems provide drinking water, habitat, shelter, food, raw materials, genetic materials, a barrier against disasters, a source of natural resources, and many other ecosystem services on which the people and communities of Hawai‘i depend for their livelihoods.  The campus community and public are invited to this panel discussion about local and national efforts to incorporate nature into climate adaptation.


A ceremony will honor the winners of the Planner Who Made a Difference, Dinell Outstanding Alumni, APA Student and scholarship awards.

World Town Planning Day was started more than 40 years ago by Professor Carlos Maria della Paolera at the University of Buenos Aires, to advance public and professional interest in planning. Now celebrated in more than 30 countries around the world, the day is geared toward a gathering to share lessons, experiences and opportunities for innovations in engaging people and their communities in making cities resilient and livable in a global age.

The Department of Urban and Regional Planning in the College of Social Sciences at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa fosters a multidisciplinary set of intellectual and practical tools to improve the quality of life for present and future generations, both locally and globally, through planning, public policy and social collaboration.

The College of Social Sciences (CSS) at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa  is engaged in a broad range of research endeavors that address fundamental questions about human behavior and the workings of local, national and international political, social, economic and cultural institutions. Its vibrant student-centered academic climate supports outstanding scholarship through internships, and active and service learning approaches to teaching that prepare students for the life-long pursuit of knowledge.