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Maui Now : Wailuku Redevelopment Community Outreach Earns Statewide Honor

L–R) County officials received the Hawaii Chapter of American Association of Landscape Architects award for reWailuku projects: Redevelopment Program Planner Erin Wade, Senior Parks & Recreation Planner David Yamashita, Parks & Recreation Deputy Director Brianne Zanin and Maui County Managing Director Keith Regan. Courtesy photo.

The Maui County Department of Parks & Recreation, in collaboration with the Maui Redevelopment Program and its consultant team, recently earned statewide recognition for community outreach and
research efforts for their Wailuku redevelopment (reWailuku) projects.

The Hawaii Chapter of American Association of Landscape Architects (ASLA) honored the county and its team of architects and planners Oct. 5, 2018, with the Research & Communications Award of Excellence for reWailuku’s Wells Park Master Plan and Wailuku Civic Complex. It called the program
among the best to come through the state in this category, and the recognition affirms the county’s work to prioritize community in small town planning.

Wailuku tennis club student athletes participated in a 2016 parks open house event at the Old Wailuku Gym in Wells Park. The project’s community outreach was honored by Hawaii ASLA. Courtesy photo.

“Being a planner who understands the significance of developing good public engagement strategies and programs, I was really impressed by the level of quality and thoughtfulness that went into each component of the reWailuku public outreach program,” said juror Jared Chang. “It is among the best I have ever seen in Hawai‘i.”

Hawaii ASLA recognizes professional and academic excellence for landscape architecture and environmental planning that improve Hawai‘i’s quality of life. With a jury of five to seven individuals, the association names awardees in five categories each year, including General Design, Residential Design, Analysis and Planning, Research and Communication and Student General Design.

David Yamashita, senior parks planner, and Erin Wade, redevelopment program planner, accepted the recognition Oct. 5 at a Hawaii ASLA celebration on O‘ahu.

The team behind the award-winning outreach and research efforts included consultants Saedene Ota, of Sae Design, Kimi Yuen, Stan Duncan, Ramsay Taum and Kalei Perkins of PBR Hawaii and David Akinaka, Mark Ayers, Tarek Farid and Jennifer Poepoe of Ferraro Choi and Associates.

“I’m grateful to everyone for the excellent work and willingness to try something new,” Wade said. “It has been a very rewarding journey of listening to people’s stories of Wailuku Town and the potential they see in the neighborhood.”

The community-first outreach program heralds a fresh approach to county planning and development. Historically in most areas in the U.S., districts would build what’s deemed necessary by the governing body. With the reWailuku approach, community members are invited, consulted and encouraged to plan and be a part of what they want to see in their neighborhood.

“This process was interactive so it allowed people to express their ideas directly to us and it was so helpful,” Yamashita said. “We learned so much and used many of their ideas—everything from the
big-picture thinking to personal stories that were translated into design ideas.”

ASLA award for Maui’s reWailuku projects. Courtesy photo.

The Wells Park Master Plan and the Wailuku Civic Complex Community Outreach team was praised for designing a strong, thorough and attractive public engagement program that used posters, flyers, newsletters, website and over a dozen community open house events.

“The team created artistically pleasing graphics to communicate their research to the public and to ‘tell the story’ of how landscape architecture and urban design can contribute to revitalizing Wailuku,”
Chang said. “The representations of Na Wai ‘Eha (the four great waters of Wailuku) and Wailuku landmarks in branding were excellent.”

For more information on Hawaii ASLA, go online.  For details on reWailuku, click here.

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