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Framework for the Future

The Framework summarizes these findings and departs from to traditional long-range campus master plans through:


  • Generating a quantitative and qualitative character of our campus

  • Integrating customized digital tools, real-time sensing technologies, and more into campus assessment processes

  • Providing the Mānoa leadership with evidence-driven criteria

  • Functioning as living document, to be updated and reflect changes overtime 

The Framework is the cornerstone of an integrated planning process at UH Mānoa. It will inform and direct Long Range Development Plans (LRDP) and Plan Review Use (PRU), which will identify key planning and development projects on campus for the coming years. 

The process for creating the Framework included the following:  


  • Integrating the university’s strategic planning efforts

  • Leveraging prior & current work, involving numerous stakeholders

  • Meeting with a range of stakeholders

  • Developing a quantitative baseline of campus use

  • Conducting on-campus & online user surveys 

  • Creating this website to raise awareness of the framework development process and community engagement opportunities

The Framework provides an overall structure for future development, while allowing for flexibility to enable the university to respond to changing conditions and circumstances. It is intended to withstand stress from a number of sources, while providing a structure that aligns with a shared vision for the future of the campus.

  • The Framework Vision will re-invest in the ancient connection between the mountains, 

  • Mānoa valley and the sea. The Central campus will be the hub of academic, adminstrative and student life activity, and gathering spaces will celebrate the natural landscape and provide hands-on learning and research environments.

  • UH Mānoa will serve as a gathering place, celebrating human interaction, and modeling the synergy of cultural, historic, modern and future influences through its flexible, adaptive and responsive environment.  

Planning Process

Purpose: What is the


Significant challenges define our resolve to improve both the appearance and performance of our physical campus, not least rapid technological and behavioral change. In view of these changes, we have changed our approach to future development by prioritizing flexibility and adaptability, and by deploying new tools and algorithms that optimize our utilization of these expensive assets. 


Following a comprehensive inventory of all central campus facilities, project leaders from MKThink, the San Francisco-based architecture and process-design firm, produced research findings that illuminate the ways we actually use and forecast assignable space.

Framework Mission


The University is committed to growing its capacity as a producer of well-rounded, thoughtful citizens, as a leading research institution, and as a dependable provider of skilled and competent professionals into the regional workforce. 


To further the institution’s goals, the university is utilizing a framework, rooted in core cultural values and data, to create an environment that reflects the community and adapts to changing conditions.

UH Strategy

The new Mānoa Strategic Plan was designed from the start with a pronounced bias towards action:

  • We want to identify the work that needs to get done, get on it, and get it done.

  • To be the world-class university Hawai‘i needs Mānoa to be, it must excel in all three components of its mission -- education, research and service.

  • We are where the future of the state will be forged, through educating its future leaders, through research that addresses key issues, and through an engagement with the state that gives us our home and our name. 

Physical Boundaries

The Framework for the Future addresses the following     areas on campus: 

  • Upper (Mauka) campus

  • Central campus 

  • Lower (Makai) campus 

  • The College of Education (COE)

  • Magoon Campus 

The UH Mānoa campus is located in the city of Honolulu, on the island of O‘ahu. Named for the Mānoa Valley, the campus sits in a beautiful neighborhood between the beaches of Waikīkī and the green hillside of the ko‘olau mountains. 



UH Mānoa is part of the Kona ahupua‘a on the Southeastern side of the O‘ahu island. 

  • Historically, the Mānoa Valley’s rich land supported a large population who cultivated taro, a staple food source of the islands.

  • The University was founded in 1907 under the Morrill Act as a land-grant college of agriculture and mechanic arts

Planning Context &


DLAND_UHManoa_ManoaValley2 copy.jpg



With frequent rains, the Mānoa Valley hosts lush vegetation and a diverse ecology. As such, the UH campus is its own arboretum. 

  • Mānoa Stream runs along the eastern edge of campus, originating in the preserved hills at Mānoa Falls and flowing out to the ocean through the Mānoa-Palolo drainage canal; the stream holds meaning among the Native  Hawaiian community.

  • Lyon Arboretum, a valued part of UH Mānoa and a resource for the Honolulu community, is located at the north end of the Mānoa Valley

  • The campus is susceptible to flooding from Mānoa Stream

  • The rare Manu o Kū, fairy tern or white tern, nests in the large trees at UH Mānoa, throughout Mānoa valley and other parts of greater Honolulu; the campus comprises one of the few sites where these rare, native birds nest



  • The Mauka / inland side of the campus is surrounded by low-density residential development and preserved areas of green, open space 

  • Mānoa Valley is a desirable and expensive neighborhood north of campus

  • The Makai / ocean side of the campus is bordered to the south by the Interstate H-1 Highway, the Mō‘ili‘ili neighborhood and a concentration of high-density commercial and mixed-use developments, including grocery, retail and dining 

  • New developments are planned for several areas close to UH Mānoa, including Mō‘ili‘ili neighborhood

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