Public Input

The following includes summaries and reports developed after each public input process associated with the NRV Livability Initiative planning process:

Kick off Summit

150 participants gathered at Claytor Lake State Park to identify strengths and challenges in their communities as well as to develop a future vision for the region. Participants also identified key issues that they wanted to see investigated and considered during the remainder of the planning process.

Community Priority Survey

This on-line survey sought feedback on proposed goals developed by the seven topic-area working groups. Based on the information of 660 respondents, staff was able to determine which goals represented regional priorities and which were more specific to the different communities across the NRV. This information was then used to better inform scenario and strategy development in the next phase of the planning process.

Focus Groups and Surveys

500 people were reached through a series of focus groups, paper and on-line surveys to better understand the challenges facing some of the region’s more vulnerable populations. 10 focus groups were held with community-based and non-profit organizations that work with lower-income, elderly, and minority populations (October-December 2011).

New River Community Action and the Literacy Volunteers of the NRV helped conduct one-on-one survey interviews with Head Start parents as well as households receiving other types of assistance (November- January 2012). The Christiansburg Institute coordinated two community meetings with members from the Spanish-speaking community (December 2012). On-line and paper surveys were made available at public libraries throughout the region (October- December 2012).

Interactive Performances

Members of the Building Home team created two interactive performances, “Whether System: A Town Hall Nation Event” and “Behind a Stranger’s Face”, in response to stories and perspectives collected from Building Homes’ 26 community gatherings. The interactive performance blended storytelling, music, and theatre to build awareness and invite healthy, productive public dialogue about community concerns. 637 people participated in both the community dialogues and interactive performances.

Built NRV

An interactive board game for citizens, ‘BUILT NRV’ provided 249 participants with an opportunity to discuss priorities and preferences as well as concerns about what they see happening in their communities. During the game, tradeoffs and tensions were surfaced in a way that enabled participants to find areas of common ground and potential solutions rather than focusing on areas of conflict and controversy. This information helped to support strategy identification and development. 

NRV Tomorrow Survey

This survey effort asked people to share what they value most about their communities and the region and then to prioritize which projects and policies they think should be pursued to help to preserve or enhance what they value most. The project and policy options included in the survey were selected from a longer list of draft strategies developed by the technical working groups and related to the highest priority goals identified in the previous survey effort. Responses helped to prioritize strategies included in this report. 750 community members shared their perspectives on-line or at one of 14 events held at public libraries throughout the region.

About Us

The Livability Initiative provides an opportunity for New River Valley residents to develop a vision for the future, and develop strategies that businesses, community organizations, local governments, and individuals can use to make this future vision a reality.


Jessica Wirgau, Ph.D.
Executive Director
Community Foundation of the New River Valley
(540) 381-8999

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