Local planner aids China in celebrating its very long history
HONOLULU'S Troy Knott will regale his American Planning Association colleagues today in Texas with tales of how he spent his spring break. There will be nary a mention of Fort Lauderdale, however.
Knott will address the APA International Division during the association's annual conference, which wraps up tomorrow in San Antonio.
Knott, a part-time Group 70
planner and soon-to-be-recipient of a master's degree in urban planning from the University of Hawaii, will talk about a March 25-to-April 8 trip to China that was all about historic preservation.
In China, history goes back a really long way.
He and nine other students were part of a group invited to China to help explore the possibility of a United Nations World Heritage designation for a site in mainland China.
The area in question dates back to around the middle of 200 B.C., Knott said.
The designation will be sought for either a 14-square-mile area of the city of Xian -- first called Han Chang-An and believed to be the birthplace of Chinese civilization -- or it will be sought for the remains of the first emperor's palace, he said. The final decision on the scope of the proposed designation has yet to be made.
The Shaanxi provincial government assembled the group of experts including the Xibei Daxue (Northwest University) Center for Preservation of Historic Heritages in Xian; the National Taiwan University Institute of Building and Planning in Taipei; John Friedmann, an emeritus professor from UCLA, who is considered one of the fathers of modern planning; and Walter Jamieson, University of Hawaii Travel Industry Management dean, Knott and the other UH grad students.
Knott said his team "did more of the social-aspect planning. We looked at the relocation of 50,000 residents and looked at the development of a tourism economy" around the designated site.
"We gave them kind of an international perspective ... a critical and comparative analysis," Knott said from Texas.
The APA International Division had awarded Knott a travel grant to help fund his participation in the China project, which is why he was chosen to make the presentation.
For Group 70, Knott has worked on environmental reports for industrial, housing and mixed-use developments as well as the UH long-range development plan.
Knott expects to go full-time at Group 70 following his May 14 graduation and appreciates that the company gave him the flexibility to focus on the China project during crunch times. "They were supportive from the very beginning," he said.
is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4302, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: email@example.com