The Landscape Guide

2.7 Designing a resort in Hawaii

Contents list

A resort development can be used to illustrate Fordist and knowledge-intensive approaches to planning and design (Landscape Institute, 1990). The Hyatt Waikoloa is a typical American resort development, in Hawaii. It cost $350 million and has 1200 rooms. The project was designed in California. The Hawaii coastline was reshaped. Different transport systems were made to offer "ways to your room via monorail, grand canal boats, coronation carriages pulled by Clydesdale horses, or a moving sidewalk which offers the visitor a trip through Polynesian history'. It was a Fordist project. Hyatt Waikoloa went bust in 1993.

Also in Hawaii, a Japanese company was planning to develop a post-Fordist resort. Two years were spent on community participation before design work began. A further year was spent preparing and modifying design concepts. In consequence of this effort, the resort was planned to revitalize a depressed economy, to support local agriculture, to build affordable new housing, to improve local healthcare facilities, to improve public access to the environment, to conserve the local heritage, to establish forest preserves, to develop local industry. The resort itself was developed as a series of small buildings in a style that was inspired by "the traditional regional style of Kohale characterized by courtyards, verandas, open rooms with gracious overhangs'. I have not been to Hawaii, but I know which resort I would book into.

Effective public participation depends upon recognizing that there are many clients and many problems. Instead of a plan, we need many plans. This is the planning equivalent of lean production. Each specialist planning team should be for a component system. Each should have a shusa, charged with integrating all the financial, technical and aesthetic considerations. Assuredly, such plans will reflect the diverse economic and social character of different buildings, resorts, towns and regions.

When specialist plans have been prepared, it would be possible to go back to work on general plans. But what areas of land should they cover? Places are not automobiles. Specialist interests have their own geographies (Figure 2.6). Few coincide with municipal boundaries, and few are represented within municipal committee structures. To cater for my personal transport needs, there needs to be a pedestrian plan, drawn up by pedestrians, a cycling plan, drawn up by cyclists, and a road plan, drawn up by drivers. Divergent interests cannot be fully resolved, but compromises are possible, if and when the component plans exist. Should there be only one plan, it will excessively favour one group, usually the group with the big bucks. Instead of an agreed city plan, societies require sets of "landscape' plans, each produced for a special region from a special perspective


Hawaii beach

Fig 2.6 (below) Specialist interests have their own geographies – and they do not co-incide with municipal boundaries