City of Holland Local Food Innovation & Opportunities Assessment

ENP & Associates was asked by the Michigan Municipal League to assist with a Food Innovation District assessment as part of their PlacePlan for the Western Gateway area in Holland, Michigan. Located between the thriving downtown and a scenic lakeshore, the Western Gateway area was seen by the City of Holland as a means to connect these two destinations. The Gateway area was home to a breadth of food-based businesses, ranging from the Holland Farmers Market to small-scale processors to restaurants, making it a natural place for a Food Innovation District.

ENP & Associates conducted an assessment of the local food system in the City of Holland, and the two surrounding counties (Ottawa and Allegan). Working with a steering committee of government officials and local food actors, ENP designed and facilitated a public workshop to discuss local food and possibilities for healthy places, food access and economic prosperity in Holland and the surrounding area, including a possible food innovation district near the Holland Farmer’s Market. The Food Innovation District Assessment featured a menu of options for the City of Holland and others involved in the Holland food system to pursue. The final section was a blueprint for a Food Innovation District in the Western Gateway.

The subsequent City Master Plan noted the Western Gateway area as planned for a food district and the Civic Center redevelopment team is looking at incorporating recommendations for food-based activities into the updated Center, located next to the Farmers Market.