Vision & Principles


Waterfront Holland’s leadership presented the current vision statement and guiding principles to Holland’s City Council during a study session on Wednesday, Jan. 23. While still open to refinement, our current vision is as follows:

Holland’s waterfront – a distinctive complement to our downtown weaving together water, land and people in a continuous thread of beauty and vibrancy… an adaptable and evolving place that celebrates a harmony of urban and natural uses… a walkable, year-round destination where water views abound, green spaces offer quiet respite and active play, and connected public access to the water is enhanced. This is the character of the waterfront we seek.

Guiding Principles

Foster Community Accessibility- To, From, and Along the Water

  • Create a continuous, publicly accessible waterfront through an easement along the water’s edge.
  • Connect the waterfront to downtown and the neighborhoods beyond.
  • Accommodate safe and convenient multi-modal access and parking.
  • Leverage on and extend the snowmelt system where appropriate.

Pursue Environmental, Economic, and Equitable Sustainability

  • Be good stewards of our water resources and ecological environments.
  • Be good financial stewards and ensure both short- and long-term economic feasibility of waterfront functions, including retaining infrastructure and access for Great Lakes shipping.
  • Strengthen community through inclusive, transparent community engagement practices and collaborative partnerships, appropriately guided by municipal leadership and planning best-practices.
  • Create a long-term vision that is adaptable over time.

Accommodate Diversity of Use, Users, and Developers

  • Seek opportunities for mixed uses and diverse, year-round programming.
  • Welcome diverse waterfront users, including residents and visitors of different ages, abilities, cultures, and incomes.
  • Facilitate multiple developers to develop specific projects over time.

Celebrate the Water(front)

  • Orient new development, redevelopment, and community planning efforts towards taking advantage of viewscapes afforded by the waterfront.
  • Encourage waterfront recreation and engagement with the water.
  • Enhance the waterfront character by integrating attractive, high-quality, well-programmed, and well-maintained unifying elements in both public and private waterfront projects.
  • Use the waterfront as a lens to increase the public understanding of Holland’s past, present, and future.