Hawaii 2050 Sustainability Plan
The People’s Plan:
Principles for a Community-based Planning Process
From the outset, the Task Force determined that for Hawai‘i 2050 to be effective, it must reflect the will of the community. After all, Hawai‘i 2050 is for the people of Hawai‘i. In particular, the Task Force wanted to avoid a “top-down” approach to planning for Hawai‘i’s future. Rather, the Task Force wanted the planning process to be an exciting, dynamic activity which includes and engages a broad array of groups and perspectives. The Task Force also believed that stakeholder input, technical expertise, and adequate research was critical to augment this citizen-based process. Hence, stakeholder meetings, public opinion surveys, and specialized research would need to be conducted.
Because of these requirements, the Task Force recommended that the initial deadline for creating Hawai‘i 2050 be extended from 2007 to 2008, and that additional funds be appropriated for an extensive community outreach program. Pursuant to Act 210 (SLH 2006), Act 211 (SLH 2006) and Act 4 (SSLH 2007), the Legislature approved those recommendations, and the Task Force then embarked on what has been the most comprehensive citizen-based process since the 1970s.
The Task Force identified five major characteristics that were embodied throughout the Hawai‘i 2050 planning process:
- Fact- and research-based process. Because crucial components of Hawai‘i 2050 relate to economic development, water, air, land use, energy, and environmental quality, access to and use of recent and relevant Hawai‘i-based information was essential in developing Hawai‘i 2050.
- Representation of broad and diverse interests. In creating a dynamic and iterative process, the planning process should engage in information sharing from all sectors (business, labor, youth, government, nonprofits, media) of the state, as well as actively seek guidance from various venues to include but not limited to neighborhoods, churches and religious groups, environmentalists, schools, patrons of the arts, the military, ethnic and cultural organizations, neighborhood boards, recreational clubs, senior citizens, chambers of commerce and economic development boards, and the like.
- A transparent and open process. The proceedings and information presented in creating Hawai‘i 2050 should be open and available to the general public. The Task Force suggests that public meetings be conducted on all islands, and in various neighborhoods to ensure that the essence and concerns of all residents become known; and a method for resolving disagreements should be developed. Further, an elaborate communications and interactive system which enables Hawai‘i’s community to be engaged in the planning process should be developed.
- Public education, media and marketing component. To educate, engage and inspire community participation, a public education and media campaign should be launched. Adopting a sustainable lifestyle will involve creating a social movement to change human and community behavior and norms.
- Inspirational, visionary, and engaging process. Community gatherings and activities should be visionary, fun and inspirational to engage the public in providing meaningful ideas and input in creating Hawai‘i 2050.
In accord with the above-referenced planning characteristics, the Task Force embarked on an aggressive and comprehensive community- and research-based planning agenda.
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