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Livable Roanoke Valley

Roanoke: 2018 Highlights

The Roanoke Valley, nestled between the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains, boasts natural beauty and a strong sense of community, with a lower unemployment rate and stable industries. However, it faces challenges such as moderate growth, dependence on government funding, an aging population, and rising health and social issues. To combat these, the Roanoke Valley Alleghany Regional Commission and the Council of Community Services formed the Partnership for a Livable Roanoke Valley in 2011. This initiative aims to enhance economic opportunities and quality of life through the Valley’s first integrated regional plan, focusing on future prospects, community quality of life, and equal access to opportunities for all residents. This summary encapsulates a two-year effort to define a vision and strategic plan for a thriving Roanoke Valley

In March 2018, the Partnership for a Livable Roanoke Valley held a Livability Summit. Presentations were made on Economic Development, Outdoor Marketing, Energy, Stormwater, Health and Workforce Development. Presentations for the Summit are listed below:


Our Vision for the Future

We are living the dream. Beautiful mountains. Clean rivers and streams. People who care. The Roanoke Valley is filled with promise. To make the most of these opportunities, we will work to provide quality education, access to healthcare, work and career opportunities, responsible stewardship of the environment, and greater regional cooperation. As we strive to fulfill our promises, we will be the destination for individuals, families and businesses who share our same dream.

United in Planning

Engaging the public in the Livable Roanoke Valley planning process was central to shaping a future vision that combines economic opportunity and quality of life for generations. Each phase of the planning process contained a public outreach segment designed to seek opinions regarding the future and share progress regarding the current status of the livability plan, thus ensuring a truly community-driven process.  Through our efforts, we actively engaged over 1,500 citizens in the development of the Livable Roanoke Valley Plan.  Utilizing phone surveys, public workshops, websites, and social media, we sought to engage the greatest possible range of participants and perspectives. We also engaged over 60 organizations from the public, nonprofit, and private sectors through membership on committees and working groups.

Livability Guiding Principles

  • Protect the beauty and ecology of the Roanoke Valley.
  • Provide a healthy and equitable quality of life for all of our citizens.
  • Celebrate the diversity of our region and its contribution to our culture.
  • Embrace both our traditions and new innovations to create economic vitality.
  • Anticipate and adapt to change with responsible leadership.
  • Build on the assets of our local communities to strengthen our regional collaboration.
  • Invest in regional infrastructure improvements that meet the communities’ needs of the 21st century.
  • Promote excellence in education, job training, and a culture of lifelong learning.


These goals respond to public input received throughout the process.

  • Economic Development
    Create jobs, increase incomes and grow businesses to improve
    the quality of life for all residents of the Roanoke Region.
  • Workforce Development
    Provide access to job training and educational advancement by fostering a
    culture of lifelong learning for people of all ages and abilities.
  • Healthy Roanoke Valley
    Mobilize community resources to improve access to care, coordination of
    services, and promote a culture of wellness.
  • Natural Assets
    Work collaboratively to preserve the historic, cultural, and natural assets of the region.

Strategies & Actions

A series of strategies and actions has been developed for each focus area. These strategies define the path forward toward a Livable Roanoke Valley and will be the cornerstone of the Final Plan. Lead agencies and potential partners have been identified to implement the actions contained in each area.



Outdoor & Cultural

Align Workforce &
Economic Development

Prepare Students
For Careers

Coordinate Healthcare

Improve Access
to Healthcare

Wellness Support

Preserve Scenic
& Rural Land

Encourage Energy

Improve Air
& Water

Case Studies

The following are case studies of programs that other communities have implemented that are or have elements similar to the strategies of Livable Roanoke Valley: economic development, workforce development, healthy Roanoke Valley, and natural assets. The case studies are presented with a background on the community, a description of the program, funding sources, steps of implementation, and an assessment of the program to provide reference as Livable Roanoke Valley and their partners develop policies, plans, and programs to achieve their goals.


Livable Roanoke Valley Newsletter-2015
Livable Roanoke Valley-Summary Plan-2014
Livable Roanoke Valley-Brochure-2014
Livable Roanoke Valley-Vision/Priorities Workshop Results-2012
Livable Roanoke Valley Survey-2012
Livable Roanoke Valley Survey Appendix-2012