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What is the New River Valley Livability Initiative?

The Livability Initiative is an opportunity for residents of the NRV to discuss the factors that impact quality of life – in short, what residents think would make the NRV an ideal place to live, work, and play – now and in the future. The planning process will take place from August 2011 through January 2014. During the first year, working groups will meet to discuss the following topic areas: housing, transportation, energy, natural resources (including agriculture and water resources), economic development (including internet access), community health, and arts and cultural heritage.

  • Local knowledge and expertise will be sought to generate options that will help the area thrive.  For example, what options are there for people having a hard time getting to work?  How can we create good jobs that will stay in this area? Can the small business that needs high speed internet get it?  Clean drinking water is important to all of us – how can we make sure we’re protecting this resource?
  • The process will be driven by the people who make up our community: families, individuals, faith communities, local businesses and professionals, community organizations, local governments, and all other regional stakeholders that need and can use this information.  The process will be facilitated by The New River Valley Planning District Commission with the guidance of a steering committee of local community members.
  • Each community in the NRV is unique, so the ideas that are generated won’t be  “one-size-fits-all.”  The focus will be on the unique character and needs of each community within the region, while also looking at the big picture – how communities in the region can work together.  For example, would a regional food processing center help local farmers increase their profitability and keep more dollars in our communities? What options are there for seniors who need assisted living but want to stay close to their family and the communities they love?
  • All information generated during this planning process will be available to all sectors of the community to use, or not use, as they choose.

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