Every year, on the first Monday of October, the world comes together to celebrate United Nations World Habitat Day. Hawaii, known for its natural beauty and commitment to sustainability, has been actively participating in this global event since 2018.
In 2023, after facing the challenges of the pandemic, the people of Hawaii came together for an in-person conference, marking a significant milestone. The theme for this year's celebration was "Building Resilient Communities," with a particular focus on the intersection of real estate and the Sustainable Development Goals. This blog takes you through the highlights of this remarkable event that aimed to inspire, educate, and collaborate towards a more sustainable future.
The 2023 UN World Habitat Day celebration in Hawaii featured four distinct panels, each addressing a critical aspect of building resilient communities. These panels included Policy, Financial, Community, and Innovation, with each offering valuable insights and perspectives on how to make our communities more sustainable and resilient. One of the standout moments of the conference was the Innovation Panel, I was honored to moderate this year! The panel discussed groundbreaking ideas, technologies, and projects that was enriched by international perspectives on sustainability and resilience. Sustainable architects from different parts of the world, including Pawel Wolejsza from Poland and Carla Gautier from Puerto Rico, shared their pioneering work. Their projects highlighted the importance of global collaboration in addressing housing and community challenges. It showcased how innovation is a driving force in creating a better future for all.
The conference was graced by the presence of several distinguished speakers. Among them, Mayor Blangiardi shared his vision for a more sustainable and resilient Hawaii. Jason Pu, the Regional Administrator of the US Department of Housing & Urban Development, provided insights into the government's role in promoting sustainable housing. FIABCI's World President, Budiarsa Sastrawinata, discussed the global perspective on real estate and sustainable development.
The event was not only about international and national voices; it also showcased the dedication of local organizations and individuals. Representatives from Hawaii Green Growth, Hawaii Climate Office, Oahu’s Resilient Office, Reuse Hawaii, Zero Waste Oahu, Eco Rotary Club of Kaka’ako, NAHB, Hawaii Green Infrastructure Authority, Council member Andria Tupola, Department of Planning and Permitting, Office of Housing, Catholic Charities Hawaii, Trees of Honolulu, Coalition of Specialized Housing, and more, demonstrated Hawaii's commitment to building resilient and sustainable communities.
The 2023 UN World Habitat Day celebration in Hawaii was a remarkable success, bringing together diverse stakeholders and voices. It was a platform for sharing knowledge, fostering collaboration, and inspiring action. As we look ahead to the future, there is anticipation that next year's celebration will be even bigger and better, making a more significant impact on Hawaii's journey toward building resilient communities.
In conclusion, UN World Habitat Day 2023 in Hawaii was a testament to the state's commitment to sustainable development and resilience. The event highlighted the importance of international, national, and local collaboration and innovation in creating a better future for all. As we move forward, let this celebration serve as a reminder that building resilient communities is not just an aspiration; it is a collective responsibility that we can all actively contribute to.