Greening Iwilei and Kapalama

Honolulu, Hawaii

Client: US Environmental Protection Agency

Role: Lead Consultant

Project Duration: 2017 – 2018

Key Features

  • Context-sensitive design and implementation strategies for green infrastructure, multimodal streets, sustainable development, and climate resiliency
  • Green and resilient strategies and design concepts for infill and revitalization efforts in transit-oriented development areas
  • Complete street and sustainable development kit of parts


Under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Greening America’s Communities program, CD+A led a team to provide the city and county of Honolulu, Hawaii with sustainable street and development strategies, conceptual designs, guidance, and implementation strategies for a safer and more comfortable multimodal and transit-oriented environment. For the TOD areas surrounding the Iwilei, Kapalama, and Kalihi HART rail stations, the technical assistance emphasized green and resilient strategies and design concepts for infill and revitalization efforts with a focus on sustainable energy and water design concepts for planned TOD and the use of complete street designs for increased multimodal activity.

Focusing on four sites, the concept designs work to address issues with localized flooding related to king tides and rain events; planning for sea-level rise flooding impacts; developing comfortable, sustainable, and accessible streets; and reducing potable water and energy use. The team identified opportunities, prepared design and implementation strategies for green and complete streets and green development, developed a toolbox of sustainable street and development elements, and suggested funding strategies.

Conceptual designs developed include a shared street in a mixed-use neighborhood that uses green infrastructure and permeable paving to address flooding, introduces chicanes to slow traffic, and strengthens community identity through painted street murals, landscaping, and parklets. Other design options illustrated how to redevelop brownfield areas into eco-blocks with greater climate and sea level rise resiliency; and turning a major one-way couplet into a pair of two-way streets to provide pedestrian and bicyclist safety as well as create public space and a mixed-use main street separate from a multimodal street providing regional access to the downtown core. In summary of these efforts, CD+A organized and led a three-day charrette with stakeholders to refine design options and strategies and to discuss funding and implementation strategies and partnership opportunities.