Sustainable transportation

SUBHEAD: What will future settlements look like in Hawaii? Chances are you'll have to see them on foot.

By Juan Wilson on 17 December 2012 for Island Breath -

Image above: Detail of painting by Herb Kane of Kanapali, Maui from 200 years ago. From (

Back in 1998 my wife, Linda,  and I visited members of my family in Panama. A couple of my aunts had property in a area called El Valle de Anton. El Valle is nestled in the second largest volcano crater in the world. It's five by three mile crater created when a volcano blew its top off five million years ago. The result was a steep valley surrounded by jagged mountain peaks and rich volcanic soil that gives way to flowers and dense tropical forest.

El Valle is out in the country away from Panama City and has been used as a vacation and retirement community by city dwelling Panamanians for several generations.

El Valle looks much like wet parts of Kauai. Many of the tropical plants are the same, and the formations of the hillsides are similar... even the dirt has the same color. I'm sure many of the plants from this part of Central America made it to Hawaii, and that is one aspect of why it seems familiar.

The Kuna indians still live in the area, mostly outside the valley itself. Unlike north America and Hawaii, the indigenous people of Panama still inhabit and own their own lands. The Kuna service the people in El Valle by providing serice and labor.   And there is a open air market at the center of El Valle that is supplied by the Kuna with most of what is bought and traded in El Valle.

The paths over the rim of the mountains to the Kuna villages are narrow and steep and the best way to get back and fort, even with market loads, is by walking... or even running them.

In planning for long term future living arrangements on Kauai I would suggest that many young people will spend most of their "work" time procuring food by picking and growing as well as by hunting and fishing. Most of those future generations will live in places people are not living now - on agricultural land that was once cane sugar.

Thousands of acres of those agland places will not be close to existing infrastructure, and there will be little requirement for what that infrastructure provides. In fact the greater the isolation of these new communities from the the more stable and secure they will be as the modern suburban model unravels.

The new communities of the future will be off the electrical grid and telephone network. They will be without pressurized county water, or sewer systems.

More over, and perhaps most importantly (for creating an alternative to the dead end of suburbia) these new communities will be with out the roads we are used to that deliver the blacktop to every single front door.

As a consequence there will be no police car patrols, firetruck access or ambulance service. These young communities will provide these services from amongst their own members to the degree they can - and that will be okay. They will live the only way you can live here over the long hail -

They will live here as Hawaiians.


1 comment :

  1. you got that right....brave new world just ahead...

    most people don't have a clue...