E komo mai (welcome)

·By Michael Levine

As a small island chain in the middle of a vast ocean, Hawaii has limited natural resources. But the demands we put on the land are great. If Oahu were its own state, it’d be the most densely populated in the country. We have to make the most with what we have. Like all of you, I’m curious about how we do that.

I come from New Jersey, only the Garden State in name. On Kauai, I lived in a community that cherished green spaces. As I get started here in Honolulu, I’ll be looking into how we use the land. I’m interested in who decides how Hawaii’s land should be used and who benefits from those decisions. I hope the Land Use in Hawaii page I’ve put together can serve as a resource for others who are curious about how things work.

I’ll also be taking a close look at what happens when we use the land in different ways. Are endangered seabirds or native plants suffering at our hands? Are we doing enough to grow our own food and produce our own energy? The Impacts of Land Use in Hawaii page will serve as a starting point for that conversation.

This will be a place for open discussion. What land use issues are important to you? How do we balance preservation with economic development? We might not be able to produce definitive answers, but with your help we can start asking the right questions.

Discussion