To help find solutions to some of the most pressing urban design and development challenges facing cities across the United States and the Pacific, the University of Hawaii’s Community Design Center (UHCDC), Institute for Sustainability and Resilience (SRI) in Mānoa, and uh Manoa’s School of Architecture organized a regional meeting Mayors Institute on City Design (CDIM) for five mayors to come together with seven leading design and development professionals for a workshop, August 17-19.

Mayors of Bellevue, Washington; Bellingham, Washington; Dededo, Guam; Hawaii County, Hawaii Island; and Racine, Wisconsin, were hosted at this workshop by Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi and members of his team. The group exchanged ideas and worked together to find solutions to the challenges faced by each mayor’s city.

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“The reception of this institute reflects the UHCDC and SRI‘s commitment to knowledge sharing that impacts the goals and visions of our civic leaders,” said Cathi Ho ScharDirector of UHCDC and assistant professor in uh Mānoa School of Architecture.

As cities emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic with a renewed focus on fairness, safety and opportunity for all, this session provided practical insights for city leaders preparing to face this moment of change. . The exchange between mayors, professors and design professionals sparked a lively debate, revealed new perspectives and generated creative solutions.

“To be part of the CDIM highlighted how vital collaboration is to ensure the success of city projects,” said Emilie Sobolewski KnightMaster’s student in landscape architecture and event coordinator.

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“It was deeply moving to observe the true aspiration of mayors for their cities, and the layers of planning and design solutions that surfaced through these conversations,” said Pretty Wangera PhD student at the Department of Urbanism and Territorial Development in the College of Social Sciencesalso coordinator of the institute.

Since 1986, CDIM helped transform communities through design by preparing more than 1,200 mayors to become their cities’ leading urban designers.

“As mayor, I want to do my best to serve the community I represent,” said Mayor Cory Mason of Racine, Wisconsin. “How to do this with the built environment is so important, but I am not an expert in any of these skills. You have given me the vernacular I need to better serve my constituents and build a better community.

UHCDCa multidisciplinary teaching practice led by the School of Architecture, provides faculty, staff and students with a collaborative platform for research, planning, design and outreach that supports public sector and interest audience. SRI aims to help Hawaii meet our local and global obligations for environmental sustainability, with a focus on promoting well-being from the perspective of community resilience. CDIM is a leadership initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the United States Conference of Mayors.