The UH team presents a new vision for the Port of Ala Wai

(Image credit: UHCDC)

A redesigned Port of Ala Wai is part of a new vision plan developed by the University of Hawaii Community Design Center (UHCDC). The proof-of-concept planning and design services offered by UHCDC provided the state hawaii Department of Boating and Marine Recreation (DOBOR) with concept options for the nation’s largest small boat harbor on the Ala Wai Canal between Waikīkī and Honolulu.

The new design includes a multimodal boardwalk to connect the shoreline, access for watercraft and common spaces – for recreation and education – that can be adapted to accommodate projected sea level rise due to climate change.

Phoebe WhiteAssistant Professor of Landscape Architecture at the School of Architecture, and Priyam DasAssociate Professor and Chair of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the College of Social Sciences, served as the faculty’s principal investigator and assembled a team.

Portrayals of Ala Wai harbor design
(Image credit: UHCDC)

The cooperation team included: Ariel Duncaproject designer at UHCDC; Hana Fulghuma masters student in landscape architecture; Sukhyun Hong, a Bachelor of Environmental Design student; and Sandy Jiyoon Kima promotion Student in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning.

The vision plan includes port facilities such as a tank dock, pump, small craft storage, convenience store, laundry area, cafe and lounge, public comfort stations and more. The team designed the space with the intention of making the port more welcoming for its users.

“The project shows how the university can contribute to projects of public interest in this case by imagining culturally and ecologically resilient public spaces in anticipation of the effects of climate change such as sea level rise,” White said.

Stakeholder input was central to the design development. The team drew inspiration from precedent and drew on data from relevant reports, site analysis, public engagement and DOBOR‘s strategic plan.

“The concepts articulate a resilient coastal public space that maintains port functions and strengthens connections to adjacent neighborhoods to allow more people to enjoy what the port has to offer,” Das said.

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