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Date of Award

Winter 2023

Document Type

Masters Field Project

Department or Program Affiliation

Environmental Studies

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Environmental Studies

First Advisor

Miller, James (Professor of comparative indigenous studies)

Second Advisor

Laninga, Tamara Jean


This project investigates how tourist-dependent regions can implement community-based placemaking to create an inclusive outdoor space and experience for both tourists and locals. My area of focus is on Puna District, located on the southeast side of Hawai'i’s Big Island; their community was damaged by a volcanic eruption from Mount Kīlauea in 2018. The county, economic development organizations and community members are working to rebuild the region and infrastructure and reopen parts of the land covered by the lava. The research is conducted through a case study methodology of the Puna District and how the area is revitalizing their region, including their beach parks. Components of the case study included a secondary data analysis, context mapping, windshield survey, an online survey and interviews. This data was analyzed to create a list of recommendations on how Hawai'i County as well as other counties recovering from disasters can revitalize their public spaces to be more inclusive to both locals and visitors.




Revitalize Puna, Hawai'i, Pohoiki, community, community-based, placemaking, recreation, cultural preservation, Mount Kilauea


Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Public spaces--Hawaii--Puna District; Communities--Hawaii--Puna District; Social justice--Hawaii--Puna District; Economic development--Hawaii--Puna District

Geographic Coverage

Puna District (Hawaii)




masters theses




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