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Visualizing possible Waikīkī sea-level rise adaptation strategies for buildings, utilities, transportation and open spaces in the years 2050 and 2100 through conceptual renderings earned an interdisciplinary team from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa an honorable mention award in the urban design category from American Planning Association Hawaiʻi Chapter (APA-HI).

The project “Envisioning Sea Level Rise Adaptation in Waikīkī, HI” was recognized at the 2023 Chapter Awards Program in September. The APA-HI recognized the project’s excellence of thought, analysis and graphics that “create a sense of place.”

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The team emphasized adaptations with recreational, cultural and economic benefits through gathering feedback from more than 200 stakeholders through six public presentations and discussions hosted by UH from 2021–23. Since then, the work has been presented to more than 700 people from diverse disciplines.

“The recognition from the APA-HI and AIA Honolulu demonstrates the value of visualizing sea-level rise adaptation at both the urban and building scales,” said the team members. “We are glad to see the renderings and stakeholder feedback become a launching pad for discussion by professionals, policy-makers and community members. We look forward to continuing discussions to inform pilot projects, policies and design guides.”

The project’s team members represent UH Mānoa’s School of Architecture, Environmental Research and Design Laboratory; Hawaiʻi Sea Grant, Center for Smart Building and Community Design; and School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, Climate Resilience Collaborative.

Project collaborators include principal investigator Wendy Meguro; co-investigator Charles “Chip” Fletcher; climate change adaptation specialist Josephine Briones; climate resilience specialist Georgina Casey; graduate research assistants Gerry Failano and Eric Teeples; junior research assistant Desiree Malabed; and rendering tutors Chris Lomboy and Andrew Tang. Other contributors include Ireland Castillo, Eileen Peppard, Melanie Lander, Dolan Eversole and Aiko Tells. Funding was provided by Hawaiʻi Sea Grant, National Sea Grant, and the Office of Naval Research.

Find more project information online.

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