Downtown Hilo selected as a recipient community for the American Institute of Architects 2009 Sustainable Design Assessment Team Program

Media Release

In December 2008, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) selected Downtown Hilo as a recipient for the 2009 Sustainable Design Assessment Team (SDAT) Program.  The EDH 2025 VisionKeepers and the County of Hawai’i Planning Department, who collaboratively oversee implementation of EnVision Downtown Hilo 2025: A Community-Based Vision and Living Action Plan (EDH 2025) submitted the application.  The application was titled “EnVision Downtown Hilo 2025: Strategic Implementation for Long-term Sustainability.”

The application was supported by numerous County Agencies and community organizations that are Lead Solution Partners in the EDH 2025 Plan, and who will participate in the program later this year.

The State Department of Health, through their Healthy Hawai’i Initiative program, has agreed to partner with the VisionKeepers and the Planning Department by contributing $5,000 towards Downtown Hilo’s required costs as a host community.


The SDAT Program is a community assistance program that focuses on principles of sustainability. As a participating community, we will receive assistance in developing a road map for improving Downtown Hilo’s sustainability-as defined by our community’s ability to meet the needs of today without reducing the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

In 2009, the AIA will send a multidisciplinary  team of volunteer professionals from across the country to Downtown Hilo (such as architects, urban designers, planners, hydrologists, economists, attorneys, and others) to work with community decision-makers and stakeholders to help us develop a framework for a sustainable future for Downtown Hilo.  Being a grassroots project with minimum “expert” assistance, this opportunity will provide an influx of wisdom, fresh energy, and techniques to build our local leadership capacity with the latest best practices, policies, and design tools to encourage us to think and act in creative and innovative ways that promotes progressive change.  The SDAT Program will consist of a three-day charrette (intensive planning session) with at least two open house community meetings.

As a result of participating in the SDAT program, Downtown Hilo will receive national recognition via the AIA Website, www.aia.org/liv_sdat.

The Planning Department will help to organize the event.  Community participation and contributions will be needed to make this a successful program.  For more information, visit the EnVision Downtown Hilo 2025 Website at, www.co.hawaii.hi.us/edh2025.  On the Website you can view the application. More information will be posted as it becomes available.

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