Seminars: Session Details

Session B1 (HSW)
Moving Communities Forward, Honoring the Past
Time & Location 8:00AM - 9:00AM | Room 317B
Heidi Hansen Smith
Hawaii Dept. of Health
Mike Packard
SSFM International
Melissa White
SSFM International

Many communities across Hawaii share a sense of pride in their unique character, coupled with a nostalgia for the way things were. Context-sensitive design solutions that promote increased mobility seek to make changes in the built environment that encourage healthy living and honor community character. With the conversation stuck around what’s wrong, any change can be met with resistance. While historic small towns and neighborhoods throughout Hawaii have good bones for walkability and livability, over the years many have fallen victim to the inevitable impacts of auto-centric planning and design. It turns out in many cases that the things that made the “good old days” so good are the very same things that a mobility intervention can achieve. This panel shares principles of healthy community design through mobility, and stories of implementing it within the context of unique neighborhoods in Hawaii, from Downtown Hilo to Kailua town on Oahu.

Heidi Hansen Smith oversees the Primary Prevention Branch of the Hawaii Department of Health’s Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Division, Healthy Hawaii Initiative. The PPB conducts statewide prevention efforts through policy, systems, and environmental change around increasing healthy eating and physical activity, and reducing tobacco use in areas that include: access to fresh fruit and vegetables, healthy community design & active transportation, worksite wellness, exclusive breastfeeding, and tobacco prevention and control efforts. She has been actively involved in the Division’s efforts to support walkable/bikeable communities and the implementation of Complete Streets policies across the state for over 10 years.

Mike Packard, P.E., PTOE, is a licensed professional engineer and certified professional traffic operations engineer at SSFM International with over 15 years of progressive traffic engineering and transportation planning experience. His work includes traffic operations analysis and transportation network planning of Complete Streets, bicycle and pedestrian facility design. Mike most recently served as the City and County of Honolulu's first Complete Streets program administrator.

Melissa White, AICP, is an urban planner with SSFM International, specializing in bringing together stakeholders, government agencies and technical experts to facilitate processes that result in shared visions and implementable plans for resilient and sustainable communities. Her areas of specialty include placemaking, complete streets, community based economic development, and resilience. She has served as lead consultant on high profile projects across Hawaii, including the Downtown/Chinatown Complete Streets Implementation Project, Downtown Hilo Multimodal Master Plan, Kauai General Plan, Waimanalo Community Values and Priorities Project, and State of Hawaii Natural Disaster Economic Recovery Strategy.