Oahu, Hawaii’s Green Buffers: For Private Interest or the Public Good

The following post comes courtesy of Global Site Plans' The Grid. CNU and Global Site Plans recently teamed up to syndicate Grid content, as its contingent of writers presents a view on the opportunities and issues of urbanization all across the world. CNU will carry select posts from the Grid direct on the CNU Salons.

***

 High-income residential and resort communities line Oahu’s most beautiful beaches:

  • Along the North Shore;
  • Near Kailua and Lanikai Beaches (where President Obama and his family vacationed this winter);
  • Near Waialae Beah Park.

Property owners in these and other areas have used greenery, including fast-growing vines and shrubbery, to obscure public easements. This trick of landscape design stokes the ire of neighbors and other islanders who previously enjoyed unencumbered access to the beaches. The overflowing trashcan near one public right-of-way, pictured below, gives an idea of homeowners’ reasons for concealing these entrances: garbage, noise, crime, and vagrancy.

An Overflowing Garbage Can along a Right-of-way to Ehukai Beach Park on the North Shore

An Overflowing Garbage Can along a Right-of-way to Ehukai Beach Park on the North Shore

In another case, a pedestrian path runs parallel to oceanfront homes that line the North Shore near Waimea Bay, Ehukai Beach Park and its famed Banzai Pipeline, and Sunset Beach. This thoroughfare epitomizes how landscape architecture can mollify tensions between residents and beach-goers. During the winter, when the North Shore hosts a series of surfing competitions, including the renowned Vans Triple Crown, spectators park anywhere and everywhere. The oceanfront pedestrian path, however, acts as a buffer between residences, their private driveways, and the shoulder of Kamehameha Highway, where most beach-goers park their cars. This green buffer effectively manages pedestrian traffic and limits incursions onto private property.

Pedestrian Path along the North Shore, Extending Roughly from Sunset Beach to Waimea Bay

Pedestrian Path along the North Shore, Extending Roughly from Sunset Beach to Waimea Bay

 

Has landscape architecture ameliorated public-private conflicts where you live?How might planners create green buffers between private and public areas in your neighborhood? How can these buffers protect landowners’ privacy without encumbering public access to shared spaces? Comment here or on Twitter!

To read the original post, written by Sunny Menozzi, visit Global Site Plans.

Comments

Write your comments in the box below and share on your Facebook!