Preserving Our City Views

Here is something Honolulu / Oahu residents should do… take the city’s view survey. It is your chance to give them a piece of your mind on how changes to our city impacts views around the island. The deadline to answer the questions in the survey is this coming Friday, May 31.

Honolulu Public Views Study Graphic

What is wrong with this photo? Can’t see most of the Koolau mountains. Our city views have long been lost by high rise growth from Downtown Honolulu to Kaka’ako and Waikiki. You can weigh in on what the city should preserve (everything) as far as views go. This means rampant construction of more high rises and rail should end… now.

But of course it won’t. Honolulu is already ruined. The politicians are going to ruin our views even more with the approval of more height exempted buildings since granting developers TOD (Transit Oriented Development) rights along the much hated rail line. Sad.

It is too bad that the City and County of Honolulu did not have the foresight of some of the neighbor island counties where strict height limits were imposed decades ago and views are still preserved to this very day.

If you read this far, do by all means take the survey. Aloha!

Top: Here is a typical view of Waikiki taken from the Kapahulu Groin area. Notice the complete absence of the Koolau Mountains. The mountains are totally blocked out by all of the Waikiki high rises. Ditto if you travel to the Ala Moana – Kaka’ako area and Downtown Honolulu. Because of rail, the city will probably grant more TOD zoning and height exemptions for areas in Kalihi and Iwilei.

Below: The pristine views from Hilo are always a site to behold where the County of Hawaii had long ago enacted laws to limit building heights, thanks mainly to the threat of earthquakes.

Many views in Kalihi, Iwilei, Downtown Honolulu near the harbor along Nimitz Highway and Kaka’ako  will be ruined once the elevated rail is built up in this area. The city will be characterized by this gigantic, view blocking divide. Take a drive to Pearl City and Waipahu. The views are ruined by elevated rail. This is what the intersection of Halekauwila and Cooke Street will look like.



Melvin Ah Ching is a photographer, consultant, blogger, desktop publisher, and computer enthusiast living and working in Hawaii. The Hawaii Files have been online since 2006.