The American Planning Association, Hawaiʻi Chapter is pleased to announce its winners for the 2022 Chapter Awards Program. The annual awards are given to recognize individuals, communities, private organizations, public agencies, and professional planning and design firms whose work exemplifies the planning profession’s highest goals and ideals. Award nominations were reviewed and winners selected by a jury of professional planners from the APA Hawai‘i Chapter.

APA Hawai`i presented the following awards at the Hawaiʻi Congress of Planning Officials Conference on September 15, 2021.

Awards Lunch at HCPO 2022 (click the photo for an image gallery from the event)

APAHI_2022 Awards_Award Recipient Group Photo

Best Practice Award

Hale Kalele/Hale Hilina‘i

Hawai‘i Housing Finance and Development Corporation, Judiciary State of Hawai‘i, The Kobayashi Group

In selecting Hale Kalele/Hale Hilina’i as the winner of APA Hawai‘i Chapter’s Best Practice Award, the jury was impressed by the project’s mix of affordable housing and civic uses, its timely completion despite the all too familiar implementation challenges that accompany such projects, and its efforts to showcase environmentally sustainable building practices and amenities that are expected to result in utility savings, and lower living costs and the project’s carbon footprint. The jury agreed that Hale Kalele/Hale Hilina’i could easily serve as a model for other projects seeking to utilize state lands efficiently and encourage collaboration among its agencies.

For full award text: Download Award Board PDF

Best Practice - Honorable Mention

Hawai‘i 2050 Sustainability Plan

State of Hawai‘i, Office of Planning & Sustainable Development and ICF International Inc.

The updated Hawai`i 2050 Sustainability Plan presents a comprehensive, shared vision for the State of Hawai`i to advance sustainability and climate action through 2030. This plan presents Hawai`i’s commitments as a collective whole aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and defines a “new normal” for the state’s sustainable economic recovery. The plan identifies 8 focus areas with 38 strategies and more than 250 recommended actions that are most urgent to undertake in this decade. Learn more at

Download Award Board PDF

Community-Based Planning Award

Keaukaha Quick Build

County of Hawai‘i Planning Department, SSFM International, Inc., and Planning for Community LLC

The Keaukaha Elementary School Quick Build Project was a County of Hawai‘i (COH)-led initiative to address longstanding safety and health concerns around the Elementary School, Hualani Park, and two other schools which are collectively considered the center (piko) of the Keaukaha Hawaiian homestead community. The project was funded through a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – Education (SNAP-Ed) grant from the State Department of Health and features a continuous walking and biking pathway around the piko. The project also included street murals to beautify and celebrate the area’s history and culture. The project has received positive feedback from school users and community members and represents a notable example of a State/County collaboration in a predominantly native Hawaiian community.

For full award text: Download Award Board PDF

Implementation Planning Award

Black Pot Beach Park Master Plan

County of Kaua‘i, Department of Parks & Recreation and HHF Planners

The Black Pot Beach Park Master Plan is the result of the planning team’s extensive work to understand the community’s values and preferences and engage the diverse interests that use the park in a facilitated, inclusive process that laid out the framework for much-needed improvements at one of the most popular and heavily-utilized beach parks in Hanalei. The preferred planning alternative – which was completed before an unprecedented, catastrophic flood event in April 2018 decimated portions of the beach park — was instrumental to the County’s swift response efforts to rebuild and implement $6 million of improvements as part of the recovery effort. The successful implementation of the first phase of improvements identified in the preliminary planning discussions, together with the County’s continued commitment to follow the long-range program in the conceptual master plan and implementation strategy, provide a solid baseline of success for future planning efforts in Hanalei.

Download Award Board PDF

Outstanding Planning

Pu‘u ‘Ōpae Kuleana Homestead Settlement Plan

Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, G70, Hui Kū Maoli Ola, Sustain Hawai‘i, Resource Mapping Hawai‘i, Keala Pono Archaeological Consulting, Hawai‘i Wildfire Management Organization, Kekaha Hawaiian Homestead Association

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) Pu‘u ‘Oˉ pae Kuleana Homestead Settlement Plan (“Plan”) expands a range of program options to native Hawaiian beneficiaries. The Plan provides an innovative approach for DHHL and its beneficiaries to establish a new self-sufficient community in the upper plateau of Waimea, Kaua‘i, promoting self-determination, sustainability, and food-security, rooted in a traditional, cultural model. Adopted by the Hawaiian Homes Commission in 2020, the Plan utilizes a variety of planning strategies, centered on Common Green concepts and deploying a Maoli-based interpretation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Meaningful community engagement was conducted with DHHL beneficiaries, ‘ohana with ancestral ties to the land, and other community advocates, educators, and cultural practitioners including those fluent and preferred to share their mana‘o in ‘Olelo Ni‘ihau. Additionally, digital interactive platforms were utilized to engage live audiences in real time (pre-pandemic). The Plan creatively applied a derived land suitability analysis through GIS and AutoCAD Civil 3D that began with 2 cm digital resolution aerial imagery and digital elevation model that applied specific design parameters to select and configure homestead lots.

For full award text: Download Award Board PDF

Outstanding Planning - Honorable Mention

Waimea 400 Conceptual Plan

County of Kaua‘i, PBR Hawaii & Associates Inc.

The Jury commended the plan on its vision to provide affordable housing, enhance recreational opportunities, support local agriculture, restore wetlands and native habitats, and plan for future sea level rise and climate change. The Plan utilized a remarkable array of outreach methods/tools, including the hosting of a project website, a project email, virtual community meetings, “talk story” events at Waimea Public Library, and a Student Design Challenge which provided a unique opportunity for students to create their own vision for the site and introduced a younger generation to the profession of planning. The Plan innovatively incorporates “Adaptation Planning” principles by the use of a five-zone concept plan; these five zones are beautifully illustrated to symbolize areas susceptible to flooding, areas suitable for agriculture, and areas suitable for development.

Download Award Board PDF

Public Education & Outreach Award

Climate Ready O‘ahu: "Are You Climate Ready?" Games

City & County of Honolulu, Office of Climate Change, Sustainability and Resilience

“Are you Climate Ready?” is a pair of interactive, graphics-based board games tailored to Hawai‘i’s context and challenges, that position participants as frontline community members forced to grapple with future thinking, complex trade-offs, and managing risk associated with climate change impacts. The games were were centered on extreme heat and sea-level rise, major issues of concern that are impacting frontline communities in Wai‘anae and the North Shore.

Download Award Board PDF

Transportation Planning

American Samoa Climate Related Vulnerability Assessment for Transportation Infrastructure

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Honolulu District, American Samoa Department of Public Works, and HHF Planners

The Study identified and assessed the physical and social vulnerabilities of American Samoa’s transportation infrastructure to climate-related hazards and innovatively created a quantitative vulnerability index adapted from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s vulnerability assessment scoring tool, while also considering stakeholder engagement, hazard data, asset exposure, and adaptive capacity. The effort involved stakeholder interviews, questionnaires, meetings with regional subject matter experts and representatives from 20+ organizations, onsite workshops, and a working group comprised of various agencies. As a result, fourteen conceptual priority adaptation projects were identified that will help American Samoa decision makers protect vital transportation infrastructure in five regions (across seven villages) from the threats of climate change.

Download Award Board PDF

Donald Wolbrink Chapter Achievement Award

Ernest Y.W. Lau, PE

For his exemplary efforts to protect and advocate for one of our most precious resources, and for his dedication to educate and involve residents in water resource management, APA-HI Chapter awards Ernest Y.W. Lau the Donald Wolbrink Chapter Achievement Award.

For full award text: Download Award Board PDF