Our Islands, Our Future

Youth Alliance members impressed an expert Maui County planner with ideas about how Wailuku could become a more thriving community. As the supervising planner for the County’s Long Range Planning Division, David Yamashita is charged with overseeing a project called reWailuku. The Wailuku Community Association, the County Planning Department and the Maui Redevelopment Agency coordinated “ReWailuku” as a means to collect community comments on plans to revitalize the historic town. Visiting the community design project gave the Youth Alliance members a chance to provide their perspective to the reWailuku team. “Adults and youth look at things in a whole different way. It was really helpful to hear from the youth,” Yamashita said.

King Duke, a junior at Maui High School, said: “The reWailuku event taught me a lot about how a community thrives. I really respect what they are doing with the fact that they are trying to remember what was good about Wailuku,” Taking its cues from the Youth Alliance, the reWailuku team plans to incorporate the idea of creating a place for young adults to gather and “hang out” in Wailuku, Yamashita said. “We call it the third place,” he said, adding that a person’s first place is home and the second might be school or the workplace. Yamashita said the purpose of reWailuku is to “create a Wailuku for the next generation.”

Having heard from both adults and youth in the community has helped the Planning Department come up with a solid plan for the Central Maui town. “Wailuku should be a walkable town,” Yamashita said. A public presentation on the reWailuku project findings will be made on March 28. More information is available at Duke said he and other Youth Alliance members enjoyed sharing ideas and envisioning the future of Wailuku. “Maui should keep its Hawaiian feel, a paradise of sorts where everything is beautiful and you don’t want to stop walking because there’s so many great places to go with such friendly people.”