We all want to live in healthy environments and attractive communities, but keeping our environment healthy and our communities attractive is a complex task. A task that requires our collective expertise, decision-making, and problem-solving. How we manage the challenges of growth and the decisions we make about development impact us and Hawaii’s generations to come.
Fortunately, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) has a Smart Growth Program. A program that provides resources to help us plant seeds in our communities — seeds that will help to create and maintain great neighborhoods.
Creating More Livable Communities
Hawaii grapples with land use issues, housing shortage and affordability issues, transportation issues, development, and environmental issues. The Smart Growth Network developed the following set of ten basic principles worth sharing in an effort to create more attractive, more functional, and more livable communities:
- Mix land uses
- Take advantage of compact building design
- Create a range of housing opportunities and choices
- Create walkable neighborhoods
- Foster distinctive, attractive communities with a strong sense of place
- Preserve open space, farmland, natural beauty, and critical environmental areas
- Strengthen and direct development towards existing communities
- Provide a variety of transportation choices
- Make development decisions predictable, fair, and cost effective
- Encourage community and stakeholder collaboration in development decisions
Most of us aren’t making decisions at the legislative level. Most of us aren’t experts when it comes to environmental issues, land use and development. But, we can all have a voice and these guiding principles can help us educate and advocate for a better Hawaii. A Smarter Hawaii. A Smart Growth Hawaii.