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Jim Bell named "Planner Who Made a Difference" at UH Manoa World Town Planning Day celebration

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Posted: Nov 9, 2005

Jim Bell, well-known professional planner in Honolulu, has received the first annual Planner Who Has Made a Difference award from University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa Department of Urban and Regional Planning.

The award was announced as part of the festivities associated with World Town Planning Day on November 8, 2005. Bell joined the firm of Belt Collins in 1967 and eventually went on to become the firm‘s chief planner, president and chairman, overseeing its expansion into multiple offices throughout the Asia and Pacific region. Under his leadership, the firm has won more than 100 prestigious awards for projects and plans from the American Planning Association, American Society of Land Architects, Urban Land Institute, and other organizations.

Department chair Karl Kim cited Bell for fostering positive relationships with young professionals in planning throughout the world and serving as a mentor to many planners active in Honolulu.

"Jim Bell has had a major impact on land use and development in Hawaiʻi, and has also helped to set a standard of excellence wherever he has worked," Kim said. "His belief in the abilities of all, regardless of gender, race, or origin, and his quiet dedication as a role model and mentor, have helped many young planners to achieve the same standard."

In addition to being a registered landscape architect, Bell is a fellow of both the American Institute of Certified Planners and the American Society of Landscape Architects. He received bachelor‘s and master‘s degrees in planning from Cornell University, and previously held a faculty position at the University of Oregon.

The award and World Town Planning Day

The Planner Who Has Made a Difference Award is presented by the UH Manoa Department of Urban and Regional Planning to recognize outstanding contributions and leadership in planning in Hawaiʻi. World Town Planning Day was first celebrated on Nov. 8, 1949, to celebrate planning, planners and their projects and plans. It was started by the late Professor Carlos Maria della Paolera of the University of Buenos Aires to advance public and professional interest in planning, both locally and overseas. It is now celebrated in some 30 different countries around the world.