F&V’s ‘Woonerf’ Design in Hudsonville a Winner

Fleis & VandenBrink (F&V) received an Engineering Merit Award in the 2019 American Council of Engineering Companies of Michigan (ACEC/M) annual Engineering & Surveying Excellence competition.

The award recognizes outstanding Michigan engineering and surveying projects from the past year, as well as engineering professionals who have significantly contributed to the profession.

F&V’s winning project, “Engineering Shapes Downtown Identity,” was for the City of Hudsonville, which was trying to recreate a new downtown identity. F&V collaborated with the City and its Downtown Development Authority to create the new identity.

“We commend the City of Hudsonville for acting on its vision for a unique downtown with a renewed sense of identity that is already improving social interaction as well as business in this wonderful downtown,” said Paul R. Galdes, Principal and president at F&V. “It was a rewarding experience for all our staff who helped Hudsonville through the planning, design and construction process. We are certainly proud to have been a part of this.”

F&V engineers created a new downtown identity for the community, using a woonerf-based design. Woonerfs create connected, gathering, shared, vibrant and universal spaces. The new downtown identity has spawned $5,000,000 in economic and social development.

“With a highway dividing our downtown, it has been difficult to establish a true uniqueness that will grow our downtown businesses while still creating a sense of place,” said Patrick B. Waterman, Hudsonville’s city manager. “With the Harvey Street woonerf, we now have a downtown central point to focus on.

“It is sometimes mindboggling to think what our community was just three years ago and how drastically our downtown has changed for the better. This new identity has sparked new businesses to locate in our community, and, in turn, attract visitors and residents to a plethora of downtown events and gatherings.”

The award was announced Saturday at Sound Board in the Motor City Casino.