November-December 1993 Home   Newsletters

January 1994

February 1994

President's Message (Arlene Ellis)
Go-See: The Judiciary History Center (Jackie Parnell)
Program Planning Meeting
National Program Planning
Town Meeting on Channel 22
Nuclear Waste Community Education Project (Jean Aoki)
Managing Solid Waste Community Education Project
Shaping League's Future - Crossroads Project
League Members "Go-See" Kapolei (Astrid Monson)
Membership Recruitment Committee (Grace Furukawa)

League Members "Go-See" Kapolei

Thirty-eight League members enjoyed a five-hour "go-see" trip to the Ewa plain on Nov. 29 to examine for themselves the process being made in building Oahu's "second city," Kapolei. Courtesy of Campbell estate, owner of most of the land involved, the trip was taken in a comfortable air-conditioned bus and included a generous box lunch against the backdrop of Lanikuhoa and the ocean, just north of the Ko Olina resort area.

On the way out the route took the group near various already-built up areas like West Loch, Village Park, Ewa by Gentry and Royal Kunia. First stop was at the Estate's newly built James Campbell Building, where we saw a slide show and a video and received a presentation of the history, conceptual framework, planning and progress of the project, which went back as far as 1955. Oahu architect and planner Donald Wolbrink was credited as having first conceived the idea of converting the 64-square mile Ewa plain into a self-contained community with its own employment, shopping, and public facilities--an off-shoot, incidentally, of the British "garden city" or "New towns" movement.

A spirited "question and answer" session followed, plus examination of the scale models of the City center and surroundings and other exhibits in the Visitors' Center. After lunch the bus trip continued past Barbers Point Harbor, the site of the New

Kapolei Business Park for the light industry adjacent to Campbell Industrial Park, school, hospital, and park sites, and other components of Ewa's development.

During the course of the trip the advantages of relatively compact, planned city development over the kind of suburban sprawl occurring elsewhere on the island were discussed. Among such advantages are lower land costs; more economical infrastructure --streets, water, sewage, schools, parks and other facilities; greater densities from building attached houses or garden apartments rather than only freestanding single homes; lower housing costs; shorter distances (at least for some people) between work and home; more efficient pubic transit and less automobile usage; and better community cohesion.

Unlike speculative land developers or builders of specific sub-divisions, who must make a quick profit and get out; Kapolei's developers -- mostly Campbell Estate -- could afford to take the time to think through the many long-range problems involved and find solutions. As a result it took decades to bring their plans to fruition. What we were able to see during the trip gave evidence of directing growth to Ewa and a "secondary urban center" rather than so planning the island's future development as to spread growth helter-skelter all over the island.

Astrid Monson

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