Honolulu has been selected as one of eight cities to participate in the RE.Invest Initiative, a national effort to support sustainable infrastructure such as urban stormwater systems, officials said.
The selection makes Honolulu eligible for technical assistance from engineers, attorneys and financing experts to help design a green infrastructure program that can be financed by a combination of public and private resources, according to a release. Honolulu will work with RE.invest to identify specific projects.
"Honolulu is investing in important infrastructure upgrades to make our island home more sustainable and improve the quality of life for our residents and visitors," Mayor Kirk Caldwell said in a statement.
"We're committed to improving our mass transit and energy options, roads, sewers and water pipes in ways that help protect the environment and prepare for the future," Caldwell said. "We're pleased to be selected to participate in the RE.invest Initiative and look forward to their assistance and support in working towards our mutual goals."
A Re.invest team is slated to meet with Honolulu officials within the next few months. It will help Honolulu identify new ways to bundle revenue streams to work with private investors and the private sector to improve local infrastructure.
The two-year initiative, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, will help cities like Honolulu rethink the way they design, plan, implement and finance urban infrastructure, according to the release. By helping cities use public resources more efficiently and attract new sources of private investment, RE.invest will reduce the burden placed on city personnel and public budgets.
"Hurricane Sandy was a tragic reminder of how vulnerable our city infrastructure systems can be," Judith Rodin, president of the Rockefeller Foundation, said in a statement. "That is why it is critical that cities have the tools and strategies not just to respond to disaster but to plan for whatever contingency."
The Rockefeller Foundation recently established a 100 resilient cities centennial challenge.
In addition to Honolulu, RE.invest Initiative partner cities announced Wednesday are: San Francisco; Miami Beach; New Orleans; Hoboken, N.J.; El Paso, Texas; Milwaukee; and Norfolk, Va.