Kaho‘olawe Use Plan

PBR HAWAII was proud to contribute to the Kaho‘olawe Use Plan. This challenging project involved preparing a land use plan to turn an entire island used as a military bombing target since WWII into a Hawaiian cultural reserve.  The guiding philosophy underlying the plan was to help re-establish the life and spirit of the island so that it can, in turn, enhance the life and spirit of the indigenous culture.

To ensure the cultural appropriateness of the process and the plan, respected cultural practitioners joined in partners of PBR HAWAII’s planning team. With the participation of the team’s respected cultural practitioners, other practitioners were invited to participate in listening sessions, some on-island. The resulting process was highly participatory, reaching out to many native Hawaiians and Hawai‘i residents. 

Crucial to the plan are the landscape architecture and planning techniques used to arrive at solutions in forming new land use categories and presenting information. The Plan’s land use designations considered the cultural long-term vision for the island and the many special conditions such as the presence of unexploded ordnance (UXO), endangered species, lack of water, and damage from large-scale erosion, and were informed by several overnight site visits through areas with no trails or UXO clearance. 

The resulting plan received national recognition from the American Planning Association for “Outstanding Planning in Cultural and Historic Restoration.” The plan also received an Honor Award from the ASLA Hawai‘i Chapter.  In awarding the Honor Award, the ASLA jury said: “The plan is a good model for planning process and land uses that are environmentally and culturally sensitive.”  In addition, the plan received a “Preservation Honor Award” from the Historic Hawai‘i Foundation. 

Project Details

Cultural Sustainability Planning Land Planning

Island of Kaho‘olawe


2000 American Society of Landscape Architects, Hawai‘i Chapter, Honor Award - Planning and Analysis

1997 American Planning Association, National Planning Award for Outstanding Planning in Cultural and Environmental Restoration

1996 American Planning Association, Hawai‘i Chapter, Environmental/Preservation Award

1996 Historic Hawai‘i Foundation, Historic Preservation Honor Award

1996 American Society of Landscape Architects, National Honorable Mention for Planning and Urban Design