This is Go Kapolei


Prescience, or foresight, may be the greatest gift bestowed upon man.

James Campbell looked at the lands of the Honouliuli ahupua‘a and saw a potential for greatness. Using his knowledge of the success of artesian wells in California, he brought in a well driller, and suddenly, what was once unusable land became a prodigious producer of sugar cane.

It was with this same vision that our city planners looked at the 650 acres of farmland that now encompasses Kapolei and saw a living, breathing community where citizens would work and live together. Where there once was nothing could be the city of the future.

Last month we took a major step in the realization of that vision as the footprint received its final coat of asphalt; the corridors of our city were complete.

I took my children out for a bike ride around the city: to use the city as it was designed. At slower speeds, I noticed the way the trees were all coordinated, how though most are still saplings, the shade they would one day provide will make these verdant, pedestrian-friendly thoroughfares.

The city blocks, designed intentionally smaller than most cities, gives our Kapolei an openness—where the vistas that make our land great are framed, rather than shielded, from our view.

We stopped for a moment at the 20-yard-wide grass strip that stretches between the library and IPA, heading north and south from the Campbell building toward the Mehana development. The kids and I squinted our eyes. We imagined the towers that are to come, condos full of residents walking to work, enjoying the cafes dotting this lush pedestrian mall that will be completed as the city grows.

It will take time. There is a reason for the adages about Rome’s building schedule, but I believe that as my middle schoolers have middle schoolers of their own, the prescience of our founders will be transformed into the reality of my grandchildren.