Luciano Minerbi

Luciano Minerbi

Professor Emeritus
Formerly AIP, AICP, and AAIA, APA member

Areas of Interest

Comparative Urbanism, Land Use and Environmental Planning, Sustainability, Pacific Islands Planning


  • Doctorate in Architecture, Polytechnic University of Milano, 1966.
  • Master of Urban Planning, University of Washington, 1969.
  • Certificate in Improved Mapping of Quantitative Information, 1970 (Northwestern University, IL)
  • Certificate in Computer Mapping of Quantitative Information, 1967 (Harvard University, MA)


I lived in the renaissance town of Ferrara. I studied the Classics in Milano, Italy. Trained in architecture, urbanism, and design at the Polytechnic University and at the Academia of Brera, in Milan, I learned to address urbanization problems. After a summer in 1967 with Victor Gruen & Associates in LA, I continued my education in urban and regional planning with a Mellon Fellowship at the University of Washington. A faculty position at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa in 1969 was attractive because of its East-West orientation. 

My teaching included the history of people and places, the procedural and substantive aspects of planning, the public interest, and the praxis of advocacy planning. The AICP Code of Ethics, colleagues, community leaders and my students were my teachers. Our integrated approach to teaching, research, and service operated in urban and rural settings in Hawai’i and in the Pacific Islands.

From 1969 to 1993 we focused on urban infill and displacement mitigation, human scale design and zoning standards for neighborhoods and districts in urban Honolulu. We interacted with neighborhood boards and city and county planning agencies. 

From 1994 to 2018 we addressed planning and land use needs of rural areas and local communities on O’ahu and the other island counties, focusing on ahupua’a management, cultural based planning, and historic preservation. We served Hawaiians and Homestead communities and collaborated with federal agencies. We served planning needs of villages and of small islands governments and federal and international organizations in Oceania.  

Because of communities and agencies’ requests, of willing students and of research assistants to do field work in empathy and solidarity with island people, and because the venue of the graduate planning practicum, we did many instructional research projects.  I live in Mōʻiliʻili and I am married with three children and five grandchildren.

Academic/Professional Work

Projects include culturally appropriate place based research, land use, environmental management, EIS, CZM, PLA, PAR, CBED, CIA, village planning, sacred places, subsistence practices, human ecology and planning, responsible eco-cultural tourism, heritage landscape documentation, land tenure native access rights, human behavior in natural disasters and capacity building for community resilience to disaster mitigation, and labor force for the information economy. 

Professional work in island settings on integrated environmental management, and information systems and planning serving local and indigenous organizations, neighborhood boards and rural councils, city, county, state, federal agencies (USCCR, USNOAA, USEPA, USDOE, USAID, USACE/FEMA, USDOI, USDOA/NRCS, USNPS), the East-West Center, United Nations organizations (UNSO, UNCRD) and island governments, planning and zoning commissions or organizations (American Samoa, Independent Samoa, Canary Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Palau, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Timor Leste, SPREP and SPC).

Served on the City and County of Honolulu Commission on Housing and Community Development, on the Neighborhood Board No 8 and the Mo’ili’ili Community Center, Waipi’o Valley Community Circle, Kahana Valley Living Park Planning Council and the Hawai’i Advisory Committee to the US Commission on Civic Rights. Recipient of community services awards and local planning recognition’s.

Courses Taught

Land use policy and programs, neighborhood and community land use planning, urban form & city design, watershed and environmental management, planning for sustainability, planning in Hawai’i and Pacific Islands. Graduate planning practica and design studios. Served in capstone papers, theses, and dissertations in planning and allied fields of the social sciences, humanities and architecture.

Selected Books and Publications

*Minerbi Luciano. 2015. “Hawaii Tourism” Ch. 11 pp. 199-210 in Godfrey Baldacchino, editor. Archipelago Tourism: Policies and Practices. Burlington: Ashgate. ISBN 978-1-4724-2430-3. ISBN 978-1-4724-2431-0 (e-book).

Minerbi, Luciano. 2012. “Hawai’i, USA” Ch. 2. pp.152-174 in Godfrey Baldacchino, editor. Extreme Heritage Management: The Practices and Policies of Densely Populated Islands. Oxford and New York: Berghahn Books. ISBN 978-0-85745-259-7 (hardback) ISBN 978-0-85745-260-3 (ebook)

Minerbi, Luciano. “Hawaiian Sanctuaries, Places of Refuge and Indigenous Knowledge in Hawai’i”. 2001 and 1994. Ch. 7, pp. 89-129 in J. Morrison, P. Geraghty and L. Crowl eds. Land Use and Agriculture: Science of the Pacific Island Peoples Vol II. Suva: U. of the South Pacific Institute of Pacific Studies. I & II Ed. p. 89-129. ISBN # 982-02-010-5 (v.2).

Minerbi, Luciano.  1999. “Indigenous Management Models and the Protection of the Ahupua’a” in Ibrahim Aoude’ guest ed. Social Process in Hawaii, pp. 208-225. ISSN # 0737-6871-39.

Minerbi, Luciano.  “A Framework for Integrated Socioeconomic and Environmental Development Planning and Management” Development and Planning in Small Island Nations of the Pacific. 1993. Nagoya: United Nations Center for Regional Development . Part II Ch. 2 p. 29-46. ISBN # 4-906236-10-3.

Current Research Projects

Organize more than 50 years of teaching, research and community service records in Hawai’i and Pacific Islands and making it available to the Archives of Hamilton library. Continue providing information on the above themes at local and at international researchers. Continue serving colleagues, students, communities and agencies in their study and research on island planning issues in Hawai’i and Oceania.  One of my interest is history of people and places including East-West cross-cultural interactions among civilizations in space and time.