Daniel H. Burnham Award

Ottawa County + Hudsonville + Nederverld Inc Awarded

The Ottawa County Planning Commission’s Urban Smart Growth Demonstration Project, Imagine Hudsonville 2030 was awarded the Michigan Association of Planning’s prestigious Daniel H. Burnham Award. The Award, which recognizes community plans that advance the science and art of the planning profession, honors America’s most famous planner, Daniel Burnham. Burnham was the lead planner for the development of several major US cities including Chicago, Cleveland, San Francisco and Washington D.C. 

“A tremendous amount of time, energy and creative thought went into the development of this first-of-its-kind Master Plan. It is a true honor to receive the Michigan Association of Planning’s most prestigious award.” said Paul Sachs, Assistant Director, Ottawa County Planning and Performance Improvement.

Imagine Hudsonville 2030 was created as part of the County Planning Commission’s Urban Smart Growth Demonstration Project. The Project is designed to enhance the vibrancy, livability and aesthetic character of an urban community. This is accomplished by developing and implementing new planning tools and techniques to create an environment that:

  • attracts and retain residents and visitors
  • promotes entertainment and recreational opportunities
  • is welcoming
  • encourages civic pride and a sense of livability

“Thanks to the partnership and support of Ottawa County and Nederveld, we are excited to have a new master plan that conveys a truly resident-driven vision for Hudsonville. Through the implementation of this plan, the City of Hudsonville will become a community of distinction in West Michigan, offering highly desirable quality of life amenities to our residents, businesses and visitors.” said Patrick Waterman, Hudsonville City Manager.

The first-of-its-kind master plan utilizes a bold combination of color, layout, photographs and text to clearly depict a myriad of planning techniques and programs that will be implemented in Hudsonville over the next 15 years.

The creation of Imagine Hudsonville 2030 also employed one of the most robust public input strategies for a community master plan. At the very onset of the master planning process, residents, business owners, students and entire families converged to share their expectations of what the city should become in the future. Multiple community meetings were held, visual preferences surveys were conducted and extensive on-the-ground public input was solicited during the planning process.

The judges had numerous complimentary comments about the award winning plan: “The bold layout and succinct graphics of this plan were very impressive. The development of this plan included a “robust” public engagement process that included community meetings and the use of strategically placed kiosks used to solicit input. The guiding principles of Connected, Vibrant, Livable, and Distinctive were visually explained within implementation strategies that are easy for the non-planner to follow. An excellent plan and processes that other communities can emulate.”

Imagine Hudsonville 2030 will serve as a model for other urban areas that are striving to find more effective, exciting methods of engaging their citizenry in the planning process.

Along with members from the Ottawa County Planning Commission and City of Hudsonville, Mark Miller of Nederveld Inc. served a pivotal role in creating the award-winning Master Plan. “Imagine Hudsonville 2030 is like no other community master plan that I have been involved with during my 15-year career in planning. The County and City challenged Nederveld to push the envelope and create an attainable vision for Hudsonville that will serve not only as an implementable and tenable framework for the City’s long-term growth, but also as a model for other communities. This award is recognition that we have succeeded.” said Mark F. Miller, AIA AICP, Architect and Planner, Nederveld Inc.

An Awards Banquet hosted by the Michigan Association of Planning is scheduled for Wednesday, October 7, 2015 at the Renaissance Center in Detroit.


PHOTO: Informational kiosks were displayed in various locations throughout the community in order to solicit input from a wide-range of citizens.