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Meetings set for Downtown Hilo Sustainable Design Assessment Team program

MEDIA RELEASE

Two Public Meetings Scheduled for the Downtown Hilo Sustainable Design Assessment Team Program!

Successful sustainability maintains a careful balance between environmental, social, cultural, and economic principles. That’s why the 2009 Sustainable Design Assessment Team Program (SDAT) for Downtown Hilo will address a range of topics, including walkability, multimodal transportation, homelessness, preserving and restoring public buildings, and youth recreation.

The Mission of the SDAT Program for Downtown Hilo is to prioritize and begin implementation of sustainable strategies and actions, building upon the EDH 2025 Plan and our broad foundation of local community and governmental partnerships with an infusion of technical assistance and best practices.

The public is invited to two community meetings:
The first will be on Tuesday, May 5, at the Aupuni Conference Room, located at 101 Pauahi Street. The event will run from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and give the public the opportunity to provide input on topics that the SDAT team and local implementation partners will focus on.
The second community event will be on Thursday, May 7 at the Taishoji Soto Mission at 275 Kino’ole Street (adjacent to the former Western Auto) from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. SDAT and local implementation partners will share their recommendations and outcomes from the SDAT process and discuss next steps for implementation. Light refreshments will be served at both events.
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The SDAT Program is a community assistance program that focuses on principles of sustainability – as defined by our community’s ability to meet the needs of today without reducing the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Downtown Hilo was selected as a host community by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in December 2008. The EDH 2025 VisionKeepers and the County of Hawai`i Planning Department, who collaboratively oversee implementation of EnVision Downtown Hilo 2025: A Community-Based Vision and Living Action Plan (EDH 2025), submitted the application.

A multi-disciplinary team of six experts from around the country will converge on Hilo beginning May 5, 2009. This diverse group includes experts in urban design, historic preservation, transportation, housing and economic development. The SDAT team will work with local implementation partners and stakeholders in a three-day charrette (collaborative planning workshop). In addition to the issues listed above, Working Groups will also review elements of the building codes, working to enhance pedestrian-friendly street and sidewalk design, ensuring equal access for people with disabilities, reserve open spaces and expand public transit. SDAT outcomes will include visual renderings of Downtown Hilo that include sustainable design elements and a framework for Sustainable Design Guidelines for the Downtown Hilo Commercial District.

EnVision Downtown Hilo 2025 is a grassroots community planning and implementation process in collaboration with the County of Hawai‘i Planning Department. The VisionKeepers are a community group of volunteers who shepherd and promote implementation of the Plan.

Additional support for the SDAT Program comes from the State of Hawai’i Department of Health, Healthy Hawai’i Initiative, which contributed $5,000 toward the required local funding match. The VisionKeepers also received $2,000 from the Healing Our Island Grant Fund, a State Grant in Aid project administered by the Hawai’i County Resource Center, a program of the County Department of Research and Development.

For more information, visit the EnVision Downtown Hilo 2025 Website at, www.co.hawaii.hi.us/edh2025 or the AIA SDAT Website, www.aia.org/about/initiatives/….

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