City Plan 2040

What should Roanoke look like in 20 years?

Every 20 years or so, City planners gather ideas and feedback from the community and develop a new Comprehensive Plan. This document helps guide policy decisions and future investments in the City. The most important step in the process is collaborating with community members to determine priorities.

Ways to get involved:

We’re looking to collaborate with community members to identify Roanoke’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges. We want to hear from as many community members as possible. In August, we hosted 10 community Open House meetings at locations across the City and more than 200 community members attended to share their ideas. We also received 1,218 online responses to our Comprehensive Plan survey, which closed on Oct. 18. In early Fall of 2018, we formed citizen working groups and will continue to meet through the winter to discuss specific goals, policies, and actions that the community feels should be incorporated into the City’s next 20-year plan.

Share Your Ideas
Complete Mapping Exercise
Read Community Response Report

Roanoke has developed six guiding themes to direct Plan 2040. These themes will help to ensure the City’s commitment to achieving a sustainable future by planning for environmental, social, and economic well-being for community members and visitors alike. Each Fact Sheet helps to define theme components and the resources Roanoke currently has to provide for each theme. Citizen working groups were formed in Fall 2018. These groups will help the City of Roanoke’s Planning team describe desired conditions, translate ideas into policies and actions, and work together to validate or modify elements of a draft Comprehensive Plan.

Cover of Comp Plan Theme Fact Sheet

Download Theme Fact Sheet
  • Livable Built Environment: “Ensure that all elements of the built environment, including land use, transportation, housing, energy, and infrastructure, work together to provide sustainable, green places for living, working, and recreation, with a high quality of life.”

  • Harmony with Nature: “Ensure that the contributions of natural resources to human well-being are explicitly recognized and valued and that maintaining their health is a primary objective.”

  • Resilient Economy: “Ensure that the community is prepared to deal with both positive and negative changes in its economic health and to initiate sustainable urban development and redevelopment strategies that foster green business growth and build reliance on local assets.”

  • Interwoven Equity: “Ensure fairness and equity in providing for the housing, services, health, safety, and livelihood needs of all citizens and groups.”

  • Healthy Community: “Ensure that public health needs are recognized and addressed through provisions for healthy foods, physical activity, access to recreation, health care, environmental justice, and safe neighborhoods.”

  • Responsible Regionalism: “Ensure that all local proposals account for, connect with, and support the plans of adjacent jurisdictions and the surrounding region.”

Community Response Report

Between July and October, the City hosted ten public meetings and launched an online survey to gather feedback and ideas from Roanoke community members. The following report summarizes the feedback that the city received through that outreach process.

Read Report

Peer Cities Assessment

In preparation for Plan 2040, it is important to visualize Roanoke’s status. Performance was measured along metrics correlated to Plan 2040’s six guiding Themes in order to understand Roanoke’s standing among its peers. The Peer Cities Assessment helps to identify areas where Roanoke is performing well, and areas of improvement.

Read Report

State and National Comparison

This comparison provides a quick snapshot of how Roanoke is performing compared to state and national numbers. This reference guide provides an overview of how Roanoke measures in vital city demographics, such as educational attainment, income, and diversity.

Read Report

What did the last 20-Year plan say?

The most recent comprehensive plan, Vision 2020, was adopted in 2001 and it accomplished some impressive results. For example, Vision 2020 helped reinvigorate downtown by designated it as a historic district. This helped spark interest and incentives associated with the rehabilitation of historic buildings, resulting in the development of 1,000 new residential units downtown. The Greenways weave throughout our neighborhoods today, but back when Vision 2020 was developed, the paved trails along the Roanoke River, Lick Run, Tinker Creek, and Mill Mountain were non-existent or were not the Greenways that we use today. As a result of the last plan, the City also adopted a Complete Streets Policy and Street Design Guidelines and has since retrofitted miles of streets to make them more pedestrian- and bike-friendly.

View Vision 2020 Plan

Legacy City Plans

1907 Plan
1928 Plan
1964 Plan
1985 Plan

Project Timeline:

  • Phase 1: Mobilize – Reviewed existing plans and current Vision 2020 Plan (Jan.-Mar. 2018)

  • Phase 2: Learn – Analyzed demographic, economy, housing, and infrastructure data (Feb.-June 2018)

  • Phase 3: Listen – Open house community meetings and online surveying (July-Sept. 2018)

  • Phase 4: Interpret & Plan – Working groups draft priorities and policies from input (Oct. 2018-Feb. 2019)

  • Phase 5: Test & Refine – Policies, actions, and an implementation plan are established (Mar.-June 2019)

  • Phase 6: Finalize & Adopt – Planning Commission and City Council review (July-Dec. 2019)

Share Your Ideas

Mapping Exercise

Where are Roanoke’s strengths? Where are areas that can be improved? Please take a minute to add your feedback to this interactive map.

How it works:

Click the link below to go to an interactive map exercise. Plot green dots to identify strengths in Roanoke, yellow dots to identify opportunities for improvement, and red dots to identify the City’s challenges. You can add optional comments to give more context to your feedback. If you have any questions or trouble using the map, please email Wayne Leftwich at or call 540-853-1104.

Give Feedback

Welcoming Roanoke

Share your ideas to help make Roanoke a more welcoming and inclusive community.

Learn More

What do you see in Roanoke’s future?

Please take a few minutes to share your ideas with us in this survey.

Share Your Ideas

While you’re here…

We are currently seeking community feedback for the following projects. Please take a minute and share your ideas!

Welcoming Roanoke

What is Welcoming Roanoke? Roanoke is among 13 communities selected by New American Economy (NAE) and Welcoming America to receive awards through the Gateways for Growth Challenge. As part of this award, Roanoke [...]