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Mayor presents Honokohau plan at National Institute on City Design


Mayor Billy Kenoi was among eight U.S. mayors selected to attend the 47th National Session of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, August 4-6, 2010, in Los Angeles.

The event was a National Endowment for the Arts leadership initiative in partnership with the American Architectural Foundation and the United States Conference of Mayors. All expenses for the trip to Los Angeles are paid by the Mayor’s Institute.

The two-and-a-half day symposium offered mayors a better understanding of urban design, and provided an opportunity to learn how to approach unique design challenges. Eight urban design professionals also participated in the symposium.

Mayor Kenoi presented a case study from Hawaii County, soliciting responses from the other mayors and designers on conceptualizing new ways of solving design issues. The mayors were expected to return to their communities with a better understanding of design and the design process.

“This was a wonderful opportunity to meet with some of the best urban design professionals and mayors in the country,” said Mayor Kenoi. “There’s much to learn about making Hawaii County a better place to live through better design and planning and I was honored to be selected to represent our island at this symposium.”

Hawaii County’s design case study was the Honokohau TOD (Transit-Oriented Development) site plan, which is anchored by the new Ane Keohokalole Highway, new mass transit routes and the new West Hawai‘i Civic Center currently under construction.

TOD is a neighborhood development approach encouraged under the new, award-winning Kona Community Development Plan, using transit design that makes the most of not only personal automobile travel, but also biking, walking and transit systems.

The county is looking to provide alternatives to private transportation as a central theme to ensure the sustainability of both the village and the island, and the symposium was designed to explore strategies for the County to influence the design and construction of what will be Hawaii County’s next town.

The consolidation of municipal services as the central piece in a new transit-oriented development will be a first for Hawaii County. The site is located about five miles north of downtown Kona and about a mile from Kealakehe High School.

Mayor Kenoi is the first mayor of Hawaii County to attend the Mayors’ Institute on City Design.

Other mayors selected to attend this year included Antonio R. Villaraigosa of Los Angeles, host of the Institute; Sam Adams of Portland, Oregon; Ralph Becker of Salt Lake City, Utah; Richard J. Berry of Albuquerque, New Mexico; Bob Foster of Long Beach, California; Ann Johnston of Stockton, California; and Jim Suttle of Omaha, Nebraska.

For more information on the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, visit the website at

For more information on the Honokohau Village TOD, visit the website atp

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