Junghee Lee

New Co-editor

Ka Leo O Hawaii

Mayor Mufi Hannemann speaks with Deputy Mayor of Taipei Dr. Lin Chien-Yuan and Vice Mayor of Shenzhen Dr. Tang Jie at the East-West Center’s Hawai‘i Imin International Conference Center on March 30, 2010.

From left to right) Mayor Mufi Hannemann, Dr. Lin Chien-Yuan, Dr. Fauzi Bowo, and Dr. Tang-Jie attend a public forum at the East-West Center’s Hawai‘i Imin International Conference Center last Tuesday.

Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann listed five challenges that all cities face and gave examples of his goals to overcome those challenges in Hawai‘i at a round table with leaders from Asia at the East-West Center’s Hawai‘i Imin International Conference Center last Tuesday.

The theme of the event was “Cities Rising: The International Role of the Metropolis Today.” The leaders who attended this event were Fauzi Bowo, the governor of Jakarta, Indonesia; Tang Jie, the vice mayor of Shenzhen, China; Lin Chien-Yuan, deputy mayor of Taipei; and Hannemann.

The five challenges Hannemann mentioned were infrastructure, crime, the three H’s (health, hunger, homelessness), a greater emphasis on being a global citizen and the importance of having a relationship with the sister islands.

Hannemann used the example of the sewage building in Waikīkī that could have been the end of the tourism industry to show the importance of infrastructure in Hawai‘i.

“Infrastructure has to be the priority of cities around the world,” Hannemann said. “My job as mayor is to make sure that no one will ever have to face 48 million gallons (of sewage) having to be discharged into Ala Wai Canal.”

The second problem, crime, is an ongoing economic, public and safety issue that the city is still working on, according to Hannemann. He believes that “if residents don’t feel safe and secure, then their quality of life will be deteriorated, and if visitors don’t feel Honolulu is a safe place to visit, they will not come.”

Then Hannemann talked about the three H’s concerning Honolulu, which he said is going to be the city’s responsibility.

“We are going to be unveiling a series of housing solutions,” Hannemann said.” We are not going to wait for the state to come step forward because we don’t have a department.”

The last two issues that Hannemann mentioned relates to Hawai‘i’s international role. He pointed out that Hawai‘i was one of the first cities to be eliminated for hosting the Olympics.

“We have to do a better job in making people understand to think globally,” he said.

Hannemann also mentioned that Hawai‘i needs to create a better relationship with the Polynesian Islands, instead of always leaning toward the Asia and Europe.

“We have to look at the fortune and quality of life in things that needs to be enhanced in the (Polynesian Islands),” he said. “Who would do better than the state of Hawai‘i?”