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 and welcoming complement to our greater 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, and strengthens our economic and environmental sustainability… a walkable year-round destination where water views abound, green spaces offer a 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

  • Protect 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.

Encourage 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)

  • 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.
  • 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.