The American Planning Association, Hawaiʻi Chapter is pleased to announce its winners for the 2023 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 7, 2023.

2023 AWARD RECIPIENTS (click the photo below to scroll through)

APAHI_2023 Award Recipients Group Photo

Best Practice

County of Kaua‘i Sea Level Rise Constraint District

County of Kauaʻi, SSFM International, Inc., UH Mānoa Climate Resilience Collaborative, Pacific Island Ocean Observing System (PacIOOS), Hawaiʻi Sea Grant, Sea Engineering

The Sea Level Rise Constraint District represents a proactive approach to community resilience that can be used in conjunction with shoreline setback rules and other land use regulations to minimize the threat to public health and safety, promote resilient planning and design, and reduce the expenditure of public monies for costly flood control projects necessitated by accelerating SLR. The Sea Level Rise Constraint District Viewer also provides transparent information for property owners and community members to understand how properties may be impacted by future flooding and what elevation will be required for new construction within the district.

For full award text: Download Award Board PDF

Outstanding Planning

DHHL General Plan Update

Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, SSFM International, Inc.

Among the notable outcomes of the plan was the establishment of the first statewide land use framework for DHHL lands, which are not subject to County zoning or State Land Use Designations. The project team sought to ensure that the resulting land use framework was aligned with the Trust’s mission, responsive to the beneficiary needs, and reflective of Hawaiian values while aligning as much as possible with existing County and State plans and land use designations. The land use and policy framework also sought to incorporate planning considerations and best practices such as climate resilience, housing affordability, sustainability, equity, community health, and economic opportunity.

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Outstanding Planning - Honorable Mention

Plantation Camp Form-Based Code

County of Kaua‘i

The West Kaua‘i Plantation Camp Form-Based Code (FBC) guides development in a manner consistent with the goals of the West Kaua‘i Community Plan and County of Kaua‘i General Plan. This Form-Based Code provides a regulatory framework to maintain the region’s existing plantation camps— Kamaukani Avenue and Kamaukani Village. The code is guided by policy which supports preservation of the historic camps while also allowing limited infill development and housing expansion. The intent is that Plantation Camps should remain compact and walkable with well-defined borders and small cottages, surrounded by working agricultural fields and activity.

For full award text: Download Award Board PDF

Transportation Planning

Oahu Pedestrian Plan

City and County of Honolulu, Fehr & Peers

The O‘ahu Pedestrian Plan is a new long-term action plan to create safe, sustainable, and context-sensitive roadways that allow everyone to get around our island by walking or using an assistive device. The Plan was developed with a critical focus on public safety and the principle that everyone should be able to walk in their community without fear of harm. The Plan was funded by the City and County of Honolulu Department of Transportation Services and the Honolulu City Council. Preparation of the Plan included an extensive inventory of existing pedestrian conditions and infrastructure on our island. This assessment was followed by public outreach, analysis of pedestrian crash data, and the identification of High Pedestrian Injury locations and priority walkway projects.

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Community-Based Planning

North Shore Community Resilience Working Group

Surfrider Foundation, Hawai‘i Sea Grant, SSFM International

The NSCRWG represents the first community-driven coastal resilience focused working group in Hawai‘i. It brought together diverse public and private stakeholders to facilitate meaningful, community driven discussions about climate resilience and the future of coastal management on the North Shore through the blending of technical, regulatory and community perspectives. This effort laid important groundwork for the community to advocate for plans, policies, and solutions to increase coastal resilience and educate others in the community. It strengthened relationships within the community and between stakeholders, resulting in more organized, informed, and engaged citizens connected to technical expertise and government agencies.

For full award text: Download Award Board PDF

Economic Development Planning

2023 Hawai‘i State Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy

State of Hawai‘i Office of Planning and Sustainable Development

The State of Hawai‘i Office of Planning and Sustainable Development (OPSD) updates the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) every five years in accordance with the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA). This economic planning process and resulting plan is meant to stimulate job creation and retention through the collection of data and analysis of Hawai‘i’s economic conditions and trends based on a collaborative process including broad stakeholder representation from across the state. Participants help identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats; establish goals, objectives, and strategies; and cultivate a more stable, diverse, and sustainable economy aligned with the state’s current and future needs and growth. They identify some of the tools necessary to position Hawai‘i for sustainable growth and development, allowing stakeholders to enhance and maintain quality of life for the people of Hawai‘i. The 2023 CEDS update may be found at:

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Urban Design

Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor Vision Plan and Report

Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation; University of Hawaii Community Design Center; Phoebe White; Priyam Das

The design considers findings from community engagement before and after generating the concepts to enhance harbor functions, and make them accessible for all. Previous workshops indicate that memories of the AWSBH coalesce around two themes: i) an ocean-based lifestyle – learning to surf, spending time at the yacht clubs, sailing, boating, fishing, and swimming; and ii) gathering for events or spending time with friends and family – watching the sunset and fireworks, BBQs, the annual Transpac race, and the homecoming of Hōkūle‘a. These themes informed the AWSBH Vision shared with stakeholder focus groups to elicit feedback..

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Urban Design - Honorable Mention

Envisioning Sea Level Rise Adaptation in Waikiki, HI

UH School of Architecture Environmental Research and Design Laboratory, UH Sea Grant Center for Smart Building and Community Design, UH School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, Climate Resilience Collaborative

In Hawai‘i a $19 billion loss is anticipated due to sea level rise impacts. One approach to managing sea level rise in dense, economically-significant urban areas, like Waikīkī, is to assume an “in-place” flood adaptation strategy. This academic design research merges science with design to create conceptual urban and architectural design renderings to visualize sea level rise adaptation strategies over time for buildings, utilities, transportation, and open space.

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Student Project

Waimānalo Food System: Moving Towards a Healthy Ahupua‘a

Reyhanillo Andi Kasim, Tamera Blankenship, Heather Davis, Pablo Gonzalez, Sydney Kramer, Keane Miyamoto, Kiralee Ramos, Niegel Rozet, Megan Russell, Ty Shiramizu, Rainbow Uli‘i, Shaun Wriston

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Priyam Das | Teaching Assistant: Sandy Kim | Food Systems Advisor: Hunter Heaivilin

In Fall 2021, students in PLAN 751: Planning Practicum assisted Ke Kula Nui o Waimānalo, a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to developing self-sufficiency and food sovereignty in Waimānalo, in conducting a comprehensive assessment of the links in their food system chain to draft a community food system plan for Waimānalo.

For full award text: Download Award Board PDF

Student Project - Honorable Mention

Līhu‘e Placemaking, Foresty, & Gardens Initiative; Using Green Infrastructure to Strengthen Community Connections

Lisa Webster, Alice Terry, Jacob Thelle, Kinzang Dorji, Henrik Weiberg

The Līhu‘e Placemaking, Forestry & Gardens Initiative is a two-year effort to build valued community green spaces in Līhu‘e and develop a shared vision for future green infrastructure along Rice Street. The project is being spearheaded by the Rice Street Business Association and Better Block Hawai‘i, with support from the County of Kaua‘i Office of Economic Development. This work is being supported by funding received through the 2022 AARP Community Challenge Grant (provided by AARP Hawai‘i) and the 2022-2024 Project for Places Grant (provided by the Funders Network), with match funds provided by the Ulupono Initiative.

For full award text: Download Award Board PDF