Ken is the GIS Administrator for the City and County of Honolulu. Since 1990, Ken has coordinated the development, implementation, and management of Honolulu's GIS operations. In the mid-1990s, Honolulu was one of the first municipalities to develop a publicly available GIS website and databases. In 1998, Ken led the effort to acquire and deploy the city's land, construction, and building permit tracking and management system. The integration of GIS with the permitting system established the Honolulu Land Information System (HoLIS) in the city's Department of Planning and Permitting. Shortly thereafter, he managed the implementation of the web based "HONLine" apply, pay, and print permitting functions, which depended on the integration of geospatial data to confirm regulatory designations and land use constraints. As a result, customer service lines were drastically reduced, employees were able to focus on the permits for complex developments, and additional revenues were generated without requiring additional staff or services. In 2010, Ken was recognized as the city's Manager of the Year for his role in administering these programs and for continuing to advance the capabilities and use of geospatial technologies throughout the City and its communities. Ken is now focused on creating tools that utilize the latest urban modeling capabilities for evaluating various land use redevelopment proposals in a collaborative and interactive environment.
Like many cities, Honolulu is currently going through major changes in its urban environment due to growing populations, traffic congestion, sustainability issues, and demands for affordable housing. As a result, there are numerous and varied land development programs being pursued and proposed to address the issues that impact the island's economic growth and the citizens' standard of living. Major initiatives already underway include the construction of a new rail transit system that is intended to promote transit-oriented development at each of its stations. Affordable housing requirements were established for new developments to help reduce barriers to home ownership for low income families. Possible regulatory changes to existing apartment districts and complexes that modify density and height restrictions are also being evaluated for increasing available rental units.
Such regulatory changes and redevelopment proposals demand a level of data analysis that can present the potential impacts, drawbacks, and benefits that will result from the changes to development specifications. Honolulu is working with Esri to utilize the capabilities of ArcGIS Urban, GeoPlanner for ArcGIS, Esri CityEngine, and the integration of Building Information Models (BIM) to establish land redevelopment modeling tools. The capabilities of these tools are being used to assess and understand the various proposal scenarios and to present changes to key metrics. By incorporating geodesign concepts, Honolulu is creating a participatory environment in which government, business, and community stakeholders can use geospatial abstraction as the media for visualizing the results of proposed redevelopment scenarios.