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Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to the New River Valley Livability Initiative. Below you will find answers to common questions about the initiative. If you have any additional questions, do not hesitate to contact us. We look forward to you getting involved!

  1. Livability Initiative factsheet
  2. What is the New River Valley Livability Initiative?
  3. Why a regional plan?
  4. Why should I participate?
  5. How can I participate?
  6. How is the Livability Initiative funded?
  7. What is a Regional Planning District Commission?

Livability Initiative factsheet

Click here for a Livability Initiative Overview Factsheet

What is the New River Valley Livability Initiative?

The Livability Initiative is an opportunity for New River Valley residents to develop a vision for our future and develop strategies that businesses, community organizations, local governments, and individuals can use to make this future vision a reality. This regional initiative is taking place over three years and provides many opportunities for residents to share their ideas about what they would like to stay the same and what they would like to be different. The feedback will help identify ways to increase regional self-reliance and prosperity, save tax dollars, increase support for local businesses, create communities that offer more choices in housing and transportation, and protect the region’s rural character.

Why a regional plan?

People in the New River Valley may live in one town, work in a different town, and see a doctor in another. They may travel from one side of the New River Valley to the other in order to shop, spend time outdoors, or to visit family members. We are connected in many ways, through our rich cultural heritage, the natural beauty of our mountains and rural landscape, and the New River, the namesake that connects and defines our region. We are also connected as a community that “cares for its own”- and pull together when a disaster or misfortune hits one part of the New River Valley.

Regional plans focus on identifying innovative ways to address issues that cross town or county boundaries. The New River Valley Livability Initiative is looking at how to extend limited resources, encourage collaboration and information sharing and increase genuine and meaningful citizen involvement to make the entire region more self-reliant.

Why should I participate?

Local choice and control is important, and planning is a way our community can choose its future. When it comes to making investments in a community, planning can create more options and choices and lead to a return on public investments many times over.

The New River Valley Planning District Commission and its partners know that for any plan to lead to action and to stand the test of time, it must reflect the needs and wishes of those who will be impacted by it. Everyone who lives and works in the New River Valley has their own story, their own special knowledge of the area, and their own hopes for the future. This is your chance to help shape the future of your community and the region, to define what Livability means in the New River Valley, and to build the partnerships that will make your goals for the region’s future a reality.

How can I participate?

Over the next three years, we will be discussing issues and asking for your input in many ways—regional meetings held in various locations, smaller group meetings (you can host one!), surveys, this interactive website, tables at local and regional events, and more. Click “Get Involved” for the most up-to-date information on how to partcipate, and take a look at the Event Calendar.

If you have a particular area of interest or expertise, you can also join one of our working groups (housing, energy, transportation, economic development, natural and water resources, arts and culture, and community health). These working groups will help guide the planning process around that topic and combine public input with regional information to create a plan for each of these topic areas.

Want to help make sure all voices, ideas, and priorities are heard?  Join our Outreach Committee and help us spread the word and gather ideas.

How is the Livability Initiative funded?

The New River Valley Planning District Commission (NRVPDC) was one of 45 in the United States selected through a competitive grant process to receive a Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Department of Transportation (DOT), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The New River Valley was one of a few primarily rural areas to receive this federal funding. The NRVPDC and other partner organizations are contributing matching funds from existing federal, state, and local programs but have not received any additional funding from local governments within the New River Valley to conduct this regional planning process.

These funds will allow NRVPDC staff to work with partners throughout the New River Valley to create a locally-driven strategic plan for the New River Valley region. Our partners include professional and business organizations, non-profits, local governments, state agencies, and educational institutions. This planning effort will also provide additional information to support existing efforts of these partners.

What is a Regional Planning District Commission?

The New River Valley Planning District is one of twenty one planning districts in Virginia whose commissions are chartered under Virginia law. Also known as PDC 4, the organization includes the counties of Floyd, Giles, Montgomery, and Pulaski, and the City of Radford. The purpose of our regional planning district commission is to promote regional cooperation, to coordinate the activities and policies of member local governments, and to provide planning assistance to local governments. The commission is financed by a combination of local, state, and federal funds but has no regulatory, governing or taxing authority.