Urban Sprawl and a Comparative Study of Housing Morphologies for Oahu

Bonifacio, Camryn
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I find myself waiting in traffic once again. I left my house almost two hours early because traffic was to be expected. The large expanse of highways all over America causes millions of headaches every day. Why do we deal with this? It’s almost as if we waste half our life in our cars to go to work, school, grocery store, or even down the street to a friend’s house. I never really understood why we do this or how the design of cities and buildings could influence the way we live in them. We need to design a city that pulls us out of our cars and into a much more experiential environment - a city that gives us the ability to walk or ride our bike. This is the issue I decided to explore further in a doctoral thesis. Urban sprawl, as Merriam-Webster defines it, is “the spreading of urban developments (as houses and shopping centers) on undeveloped land near a city.” We can find examples of urban sprawl all over America as well as components or evidence of its effects on other areas. As I learned more about this issue, it became evident that there was more to it than simply designing cities from scratch. We find that new development that claims to be better, mixed use, and walkable are still located outside city boundaries and in essence is sprawling out. The evidence of urban sprawl in Hawaii is a major occurrence in Hawaii, partly due to the geographical nature of an island’s land mass. The goal of this research paper is to further understand the issue of urban sprawl in the context of Hawaii’s developing suburban communities. Known housing types that are related to sprawl’s wide range of problems and forms will be modified to implement ideas from smart growth, Jane Jacobs, and Clarence Perry. Studies will then explore further the impact of different development types on a site located in Kapolei, Hawaii. We will be able to use the study to determine if using known housing types and increasing the quality of life through relieving specific issues related to sprawl, can we redensify a city?
107 pages
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