Downtown Strategy

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Overhead view of downtown Blacksburg from Alumni Mall looking south


What Do Blacksburg Residents Think About Downtown?
Over 850 Blacksburg residents have provided their input on the present and future of downtown through the first Downtown Strategy public meeting and the Downtown Strategy Survey. Ahead of the next public meeting on March 19, summaries of this feedback will be posted here over the next several weeks. Check back regularly to see what you and your neighbors think is downtown’s future potential!
At the December public meeting, attendees were asked to share one word that they hoped would best describe downtown ten years from now. As the word cloud below shows, the community has high aspirations for a downtown with more and better quality activities and amenities, and that can be accessed in a variety of ways.

 A word cloud with words used to describe what town citizens want from downtown. Words include vibrant, progressive, community, family friendly, bikeable, diverse, dynamic, car free, safe, inclusive, friendly, sustainable, welcoming.

Second Downtown Strategy Public Meeting

The Town of Blacksburg will host the second public input meeting for the Downtown Strategic Planning Study on Monday, March 19, 6:30 p.m. at the Blacksburg Community Center, 725 Patrick Henry Dr. At the meeting a summation of the first meeting will be provided and themes that have started to emerge from previous public input will be discussed. Several different alternatives for downtown's future will also be presented. This will be followed by an opportunity for the public to provide input through various exercises. 


First Downtown Strategy Public Meeting

The first Downtown Strategy public meeting was on Monday, Dec. 4, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Blacksburg Community Center, 725 Patrick Henry Dr. There was a presentation on the strategy process, the factors currently impacting Downtown, and a framework for thinking about Downtown’s future opportunities and challenges. Attendees provided input through a variety of hands-on activities, as well as speak with members of the consulting team and town staff. Watch the video below of the first public meeting presentation with narrative.



Downtown Strategy Survey -
Architectural Preference Survey -
Downtown Strategy Public Meeting Presentation - Blacksburg Public Meeting Master (23mb PDF)

What is the Downtown Strategy?

Strategic planning is a process that many types of entities undertake – not just communities, but also institutions, businesses large and small, foundations, and non-profits. In short, any group that is looking ahead to its future and where it will be in the next decade should be thinking about strategic planning. Why is strategic planning so important for all of these different types of entities? Because no entity exists in a vacuum – it is continually impacted by changes in the world around it. 

 Venn diagram showing how the planning process works

A strategic plan helps a community have greater control over its own destiny. The Downtown Strategy is a planning process intended to help the Blacksburg community formulate a set of strategies that will guide the development of Downtown over the next decade. It will allow the community to take a proactive role in deciding how Downtown can accommodate expected growth, serve the needs of residents and workers, and reflect the values and character of the town. 

Your active participation is crucial to the success of this process. Please take a moment to explore the strategy webpage, where you will learn about upcoming and recent strategy meetings and find links to strategy materials and surveys.  

Thank you in advance for your participation, your feedback, and your partnership in crafting a strategy that will move Downtown Blacksburg forward into the next decade and beyond.


The Strategy Process

The Downtown Strategy consists of four steps – Understand, Strategize, Decide, and Frameworks. In each of the first three steps, the community will be asked to provide feedback on strategy alternatives for Downtown. The feedback at each step will inform refinements to those alternatives, which will then be presented in the subsequent step. The final step will culminate in the production of a Downtown Strategy document. Watch this page for information on upcoming public meetings and other opportunities to provide input.

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