Kakaako plan offers vision of a ‘livable’ community

Kakaako plan offers vision of a ‘livable’ community

While there are definite advantages to living away from the urban core, an agonizing morning commute generally isn’t one of them.

Honolulu’s traffic consistently ranks among the worst in the nation, prompting a demand for solutions, like high-speed rail, and options, such as livable communities.

But what makes one community more livable than another? You can attend a Hawaii Community Development Authority open house on Thursday to find out.

Development plans unveiled last week by HCDA reveal the agency’s vision for turning Kakaako into a “compact, walkable and livable” community. Highlights from the plan include new high-rises – combining a mix of market price and affordable residences–along with parks, shops, office space and a revamped Neal S. Blaisdell Center.

The proposal also looks at what’s currently missing from Kakaako, adding in a full-service grocery store and possibly hotels.

The idea is to create a pedestrian neighborhood where people can walk, bike or use public transportation for work, shopping and recreation. Since Kakaako is at the end of an upcoming elevated rail line, the plan also looks ahead to completion of the tracks with transit-oriented development proposals that offer recreation and retail options near transit centers.

An environmental impact statement is needed to determine if the plan can move forward. Public input is part of that review process.

Do the plans represent a Kakaako you would want to live in?

To see HCDA’s transit oriented development overlay plan, visit dbedt.hawaii.gov.

To find out more, attend HCDA’s two-hour open house at 3:30 p.m. Thursday at 461 Cooke Street.