Mr. Nakai is involved in many types of planning projects with an emphasis on environmental planning and land use entitlements. He has managed or assisted with various projects, including the environmental impact statement for the proposed Hawai‘i Public Housing Authority (HPHA) Administrative Offices Redevelopment, a mixed-use development featuring up to 800 affordable rental apartments for seniors; Chapter 201H, HRS exemptions for Keahumoa Place, an affordable housing development in East Kapolei; as well as environmental assessments for renovations to Thomas Square Park; the Ted Makalena Golf Course National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Improvements; Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) water system infrastructure improvements on Moloka‘i; the Kea‘au Village Master Plan; the Project Kamoleao Community-Based Master Plan for the Pana‘ewa Hawaiian Home Lands Community Association and Pana‘ewa Community Alliance; and new classroom facilities at Kealakehe Elementary School and Waipahu High School. He has also helped to obtain land use entitlements for church facilities on O‘ahu and Maui, as well as for infrastructure improvements to the Brigham Young University-Hawai‘i campus in Lā‘ie.
Mr. Nakai transitioned from a career in language education, and received his master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. While his main focus is on issues of equitable and sustainable food systems policy and planning, he has undertaken a wide variety of projects during his graduate studies. These graduate projects include assisting the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center (NDPTC) in researching and developing the content for a FEMA-certified training course on enhancing food security and building resilient food systems; working with the Kailapa Hawaiian Homestead Community on Hawai‘i Island to create a preliminary site plan for a proposed community center; supporting Kōkua Kalihi Valley/Ho‘oulu ‘Āina in creating a Hawaiian values-based planning and decision-making tool to help identify and evaluate potential revenue streams for their community-based non-profit organization; and presenting recommendations to the Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting’s Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) staff on how to incorporate green infrastructure into the neighborhood TOD plans and designs by taking a social-ecological systems perspective.