Wailuku projects recognized for community outreach, research

County officials Erin Wade (from left), redevelopment program planner; David Yamashita, senior parks and recreation planner; Brianne Zanin, parks and recreation deputy director; and Keith Regan, managing director, are shown with their Hawaii Chapter of American Association of Landscape Architects award.

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

The Hawaii Chapter of American Association of Landscape Architects honored the county and its team of architects and planners Oct. 5 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.

“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 Hawaii.”

Hawaii ASLA recognizes professional and academic excellence for landscape architecture and environmental planning that improve Hawaii’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 Oahu. 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 encouraged to be a part of what they want in their neighborhood.

For more information on Hawaii ASLA, visit www.hawaiiasla.org/2018-awards. For details on reWailuku, see www.rewailuku.org.