Student Research Highlight - UH Manoa DURP - Summer 2022

This UH Manoa Department of Urban and Regional Planning (DURP) Student Research Highlight piece focuses on Cuong Tran's (MURP, 2022) thesis study. Cuong's thesis explores how resilience hub facilities can be implemented in our state to support community resilience efforts against climate change. His thesis examines the role different community assets play in promoting community resilience and resilience hub development between urban and rural communities. Additional information on Cuong's thesis as well as his background are included below. 

Readers may obtain a copy of Cuong's thesis by emailing him at Questions may also be directed to Cuong at that email address.

The Development of an Asset-Based Framework for Resilience Hub Planning in O’ahu, Hawai’i

By Cuong Tran

In Hawaiʻi, as climate change intensifies and induces more disasters, a greater demand for understanding and strengthening community resilience is necessary. In recent years, resilience hubs have been introduced across the United States to support community resilience efforts against climate change. The Asset-Based Community Development approach was utilized to compare the role of different community assets, i.e., physical, human, and social assets, in promoting community resilience and resilience hub development between urban and rural communities. Four community resilience elements were used for analysis: Community Networks and Relationships, Teamwork and Leadership, Information and Communications, and Training and Education. Different site factors for resilience hub development between urban and rural communities were also analyzed. Two-way analysis of variance tests and post hoc Tukey HSD tests were performed to compare the quantitative and qualitative data from roughly 300 online survey responses between two study areas, the Primary Urban Center and Koʻolauloa, in Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi. Overall, rural residents ranked their physical, human, and social assets significantly higher than urban residents in promoting community resilience. Resilience hub development between urban and rural residents can differ based on the availability, weight, and utilization of community assets. Lastly, urban and rural residents shared similar perspectives on resilience hub site selection for several factors: trust and acceptance, ease of access, programmatic offerings, service to groups, and community-based facility preferences. However, urban residents emphasized more on transportation accessibility compared than rural residents.

Cuong Tran

I am a Summer 2022 graduate of the Masters in Urban and Regional Planning program at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa. My current interests include community resilience planning, disaster risk management, and climate change adaptation. My Master’s Thesis focuses on developing Community Resilience Hubs on the island of O’ahu and how residents can apply their individual and collective strengths in developing a resilience hub. I plan to stay in Hawai'i and work toward implementing community resilience projects against climate change. One of my long-term goals is to help implement Resilience Hubs on O’ahu and the rest of the main Hawaiian islands.