Olowalu Town

During our stay on the beautiful island of Maui, we had the privilege of meeting Bill Frampton, a man with the vision of developing a sustainable town. Maui used to be several small towns surrounded by agricultural land. Each town would have local shops and vendors, and locally grown food. The original small town feel of Maui was disappearing as urban sprawl caused smaller towns to merge into each other, leading to unsustainable growth. Bill explained to us that this was largely due to Maui’s zoning code which designated certain areas of land for certain purposes, as opposed to churches, schools, shops and houses all interspersed in the same area. This zoning code was adopted from Los Angeles, and is not fit for an island like Maui. The mentality behind that kind of design is to clear large areas of land and design it. However, Hawaii being rich in wildlife and nature, cannot afford to do so. The development needs to be designed around the characteristics of the land, not vice versa. After returning from college in the mainland, Bill was all fired up about sustainability and wanted to stop all development. The original small town feel of Maui was disappearing as urban sprawl caused smaller towns to merge into each other, destroying the land between them that used to produce food to sustain the people. Bill soon realized that preventing all development was not the answer, but instead promoting sustainable development and going back to the old system of little towns with defined boundaries. His plan for Olowalu town is to have affordable housing, a community which is not divided by economic status, stop susburbaban sprawl and retain that small town feeling. He involves the community in decisions that are made so everyone is on board with whatever plans are carried out. Bill estimates that the project will start in about 3 years. We wish him all the best in the construction of this sustainable town. Image

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