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June 9, 2003

Mayor Harris Receives National Award for Community Vision Program

         The U.S. Conference of Mayors has recognized Mayor Jeremy Harris and the City and County of Honolulu with an Outstanding Achievement Award in the 2003 City Livability Awards Program.  Harris was one of just four mayors of large cities to be recognized last Saturday at the Conference of Mayors’ annual meeting in Denver, Colorado, “for exemplary leadership in developing and implementing programs that improve the quality of life in America’s cities.”

        This is the latest of several awards Mayor Harris and the City have received for the Community Vision program, which empowers citizens to have a voice in planning decisions that affect the future of their neighborhoods.  Last year the Mayor received the American Planning Association’s Distinguished Leadership Award for his role in implementing the Vision program.  In 1999, the program was awarded the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Best Practices Award.

        “Mayor Harris has discovered innovative and creative ways to involve the citizens of Honolulu to help better their city,” according to the judges of this year’s City Livability Awards.  “His program, which incorporates civic engagement in planning for the future of the community, helps citizens realize that they really make a difference.”

        The Community Vision program was created in 1998 to bring residents, business leaders, and local government together at the grassroots level to improve Honolulu’s neighborhoods.  Since then 19 vision teams have developed and updated vision statements, concepts, and priorities as part of a community-based planning effort that promotes urban design excellence.

        In partnership with the Honolulu chapters of the American Institute of Architects, American Planning Association, American Society of Landscape Architects and the Consulting Engineers Council of Hawaii, Mayor Harris tapped local designers, planners, and engineers under the Vision Design Assistance Team Program. They offer their professional expertise on a volunteer basis to help facilitate meetings, encourage discussion and assist each of the Vision teams in graphic presentation of their projects and visions. Both the professional contributors and the Vision teams have gained valuable insight from each other during this process.

       Notable Vision projects and areas of emphasis include:

       ·        Town centers

       ·        Canoe hâlau

·        The Pearl Harbor Historic Trail

·        Projects to restore old towns such as Haleiwa

·        Projects to recapture Oahu’s waterfront

·        Sustainable land use projects

·        Projects to “keep the country, country”

        The U.S. Conference of Mayors award is one of more than 40 national and local awards Mayor Harris and the City and County have received since 1999.  These awards have acknowledged the City Administration’s significant accomplishments in urban planning and design, management, and preserving the quality-of-life in Honolulu.

        The 2003 City Livability Awards Program is sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Mayors and Waste Management.  The three other mayors of cities with populations of 100,000 or more that were honored with Outstanding Achievement Awards were Richard M. Daley of Chicago; Richard Filippi of Erie, Pennsylvania; and Richard M. Murphy of San Diego.



Friday, June 13, 2003

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