Archive for March, 2011

Yale students help Kauai measure sustainability

yale students on Kauai

What a treat! I got to spend much of this past week interacting with 4 students from the Yale School of Forestry while they were on Kaua`i collecting data for a "Material Flow" analysis as part of their coursework in Industrial Ecology.

Sadly, their experience of our island's tsunami evacuation plans was less of a treat. Along with many other Kaua`i visitors, they were simply pushed out of their resort late Thursday night as the expected waves approached...and given no guidance where to go for shelter.

Published by Ken on March 12th, 2011 tagged Island Ecosystems | Comments Off

sprawl or in-fill? on Kauai town growth since 2000

town growth on Kauai

Surprise! Kauai's northshore was not the fastest growing part of the island, as development boomed during the last decade.

The 2010 Census data are just out, and Kapa`a is the clear winner in the home-building race, with Puhi close behind.

Of course, Puhi's boundaries were extended to include Grove Farm's new housing development.

Yet, the new housing in Kapa`a is all infill, and its share of island housing grew from 16% to 17% over this decade.

In fact, there were more new homes built in Kapa`a than Princeville and Kilauea combined.

Published by Ken on March 9th, 2011 tagged Island Ecosystems | Comments Off

where to learn industrial ecology? on Kauai, of course

Marion Chertow does Kauai

Most folks don't have a clue what this field of study is all about, and those who do might wonder how Kauai fieldwork might fit in. Just ask Dr. Marian Chertow and her industrial ecology students at Yale .

Turns out, the learning we're doing in industrial ecology is absolutely crucial to our sustainability struggles, and Kauai is as good as anywhere to build our knowledge of how these systems work. Only more so.

Why? For one thing, Kauai's size makes it a perfect laboratory for studying systems, since one can almost literally get one's arms around it.

Published by Ken on March 3rd, 2011 tagged Island Ecosystems | Comments Off

What’s Hawaii’s traffic forecast? Watch this trend!

Hawaii vehicle miles drop

Did we miss something? Why are the indicators for vehicle miles traveled continuing to fall since 2007?

This chart shows the drop in Hawaii driving continued through 2010, despite moderating oil prices and improving mileage.

As Clark Williams-Derry notes, "without quite realizing it, we've just lived through a sea change in our appetite for car travel" (via sightline daily).

Says Williams-Derry, "what seemed like an inexorable rise in vehicle travel has turned, for the moment at least, into somewhere between a choppy plateau and a slow decline."

Perhaps its time for Hawaii's transportation planners to begin adjusting their expectations.

Published by Ken on March 2nd, 2011 tagged Island Ecosystems | Comments Off