RVARC staff provides a variety of economic development services for the region’s localities and economic development organizations. These services include data analysis, mapping, IMPLAN, economic impact studies, and coordination of regional initiatives such as broadband and the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS). The RVARC also works with local chambers of commerce, tourism groups and other partners to support local tourism, business recruitment, workforce development , and branding.
The Commission leads a number of regional sustainability initiatives aimed at maintaining and growing the area’s excellent quality of life and economic opportunities. The Commission spearheads multi-jurisdictional air quality planning and monitoring, including the Ozone Early Action Plan. Through our RIDE Solutions program, the Commission supports transportation options throughout its service area, creating mobility choices that reduce air pollution and traffic congestion and creates safe opportunities for active transportation like biking and walking. The Save-a-Ton program, an energy conservation education and outreach efforts, provides citizens of the region tips and tricks for reducing their energy consumption, while its partnership program works to connect local businesses who work in the realm of conservation and efficiency with customers. And through long-range planning efforts like our Partnership for a Livable Roanoke Valley, we are committed to working with our partners and local governments to seek additional opportunities to protect and improve those things that make the region unique.
The RVARC plays a critical role in facilitating discussion on environmental issues in the region. RVARC works with its member localities and state and federal governments to address environmental issues of regional significance such as water supply planning, watershed improvement plans, air quality, and stormwater management. RVARC works to identify avenues to accomplish environmental goals through regional partnerships, funding strategies and outreach.
RVARC provides a variety of community development services for the region’s localities. Region wide projects include development of the Strategic Plan, community development block grant regional priority development, and serving as liaison to the Department of Housing and Community Development and the Appalachian Regional Commission. RVARC provides technical assistance to localities in the form of updates to local comprehensive plans, land use ordinances, recreation plans and grant management.
Staff has also provided the following services to member governments: redistricting, grant writing, open space and recreation planning, mapping and GIS services, demographic analysis, and many other forms of economic, transportation and community planning assistance.
Commission staff provides support for urban transportation planning and rural transportation planning, in two distinct programs. Urban transportation planning and programs are conducted for the Roanoke Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), which is a separate board from the Regional Commission. The MPO covers the urbanized area for the Roanoke Valley. Transportation planning includes long-range planning, transit planning, corridor studies, bicycle and pedestrian planning, and land use planning.
The Commission also supports transportation planning activities in rural portions of the region under designated rural funding from the Virginia Department of Transportation.
The Commission also operates RIDE Solutions, which provides alternative transportation options – ridesharing (carpooling and vanpooling), biking, public transit, walking, and guaranteed ride home services – to residents living within the greater New River and Roanoke Valleys and Region 2000 regions of southwestern Virginia.