Students Help With Harbor Planning in Hawaii

University of Hawaii graduate students explored the potential for improvements to the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor, an important coastal public space in Honolulu.

January 17, 2021, 9:00 AM PST

By clementkhlau @clemusc


Honolulu, Hawaii

Ala Wai Harbor in Honolulu. | LuvAlisa / Shutterstock

Coastal planning is complicated and challenging even for seasoned planners due in part to the variety of issues and stakeholders involved. But that has not discouraged planning and landscape architecture students from the University of Hawaii at Manoa from studying Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor and offering recommendations for its improvement. Specifically, students in two graduate classes recently explored the potential for short- and long-term improvements to the harbor which is an important coastal public space that serves as a link between Ala Moana and Waikīkī.

The students in a planning practicum and a landscape architecture studio also examined how projected sea-level rise would impact the harbor. They conducted research, gathered input from stakeholders, studied precedents, and explored design strategies to tackle the issue. The findings informed their conceptual plan and recommendations for climate risk adaptation as well as for site improvements to enhance this public amenity. The students appreciated the opportunity to work on a real-world assignment to assist the state’s Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation and gain valuable experience and skills to prepare them for the transition to becoming professionals. 

Ala Wai Harbor is the largest small boat and yacht harbor in Hawaii. The harbor is situated in Honolulu at the mouth of the Ala Wai Canal, between Waikiki and downtown Honolulu. To the east are Waikiki and Diamond Head; to the west are Magic Island and the Honolulu waterfront. Ala Wai Harbor has a rich cultural history and land uses that support recreational activities. Research shows that the harbor will be impacted by sea-level rise in the coming years. Thus, it is critical for any future plans to address this issue while taking into consideration the public’s vision for the harbor. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2020 in University of Hawai'i News

Chicago Commute

Planning for Congestion Relief

The third and final installment of Planetizen's examination of the role of the planning profession in both perpetuating and solving traffic congestion.

May 12, 2022 - James Brasuell

Twin Cities

Minneapolis Housing Plan a Success—Not for the Reason You Think

Housing advocates praise the city’s move to eliminate single-family zoning by legalizing triplexes on single-family lots, but that isn’t why housing construction is growing.

May 13, 2022 - Reason

Single-Family Housing Construction

New White House Housing Initiative Includes Zoning Reform Incentives

The Biden administration this morning released a new program of actions intended to spur housing construction around the United States.

May 16, 2022 - The White House

Complete Street Vancouver

Study: Most of Vancouver Is a ‘15-Minute City’

A large majority of Vancouver residents can access a grocery store in 15 minutes or less by bicycle or on foot.

May 20 - Vancouver Sun

Montreal, Quebec

Urban Design, Transport, and Health

The Lancet medical journal published a series of articles that explore how to evaluate and guide urban planning decisions to create healthy and sustainable cities. Live long and prosper!

May 20 - The Lancet - Urban Design, Transport, and Health

MoGo Bikeshare Bikes

Detroit Bike Share Celebrates Five Years

In its five years of operation, Detroit’s MoGo bikeshare has added electric and adaptive bikes to its fleet of more than 600 bikes.

May 20 - MoGo

HUD’s 2022 Innovative Housing Showcase

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Expanding HUD’s Eviction Protection Grant Program

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

New Updates on The Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.