Roanoke Named One of “Most Livable” Cities in America

What makes a city “livable,” exactly? Roanoke has a low cost of living, affordable real estate, good jobs, amazing outdoor recreation opportunities, and a growing economy, making it a desirable place to live, work, and play. And, according to the U.S. Conference of Mayors, we also have creative leadership implementing innovative programs to improve and already high quality of life in the region.

At the U.S. Conference of Mayors earlier this year, the City of Roanoke was recognized with the Outstanding Achievement Award in the 2014 City Livability Awards Program for its 2013 Parks and Arts Program. 

Parks and Arts is a unique program bringing performing artists outdoors and directly into communities to engage residents in art and promote neighborhoods’ diverse cultural and historic resources. 

Official Press Release:

Roanoke Named One of ‘Most Livable’ Cities in America

U.S. Conference of Mayors Announces 2014 City Livability Award Winners at June 21 Annual Meeting in Dallas

Roanoke, VA — The City of Roanoke has been recognized with the Outstanding Achievement Award in the 2014 City Livability Awards Program at the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ 82nd Annual Meeting in Dallas, Tex. Roanoke received the award for its 2013 Parks and Arts Program.

Award-winning cities were determined by an independent panel of judges, selected by the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Winners were chosen from a pool of more than 200 applicants.

This is the 35th year in which cities have competed for the award, which is sponsored by the Conference of Mayors and Waste Management, Inc., the nation’s largest environmental solutions provider. The award recognizes mayoral leadership in developing and implementing programs that improve the quality of life in America’s cities, focusing on the leadership, creativity, and innovation demonstrated by the mayors.

“Roanoke is very grateful to receive this award from the nation’s mayors,” said Mayor David A. Bowers. “The real award recipients should be the city’s Arts and Culture Coordinator, Susan Jennings, and Roanoke Parks and Recreation Director Steve Buschor, who have introduced neighborhoods in every quadrant of the Star City to the lively, performing arts of our community, and brought our people into their parks on nice summer afternoons, through this Parks and Arts Program. Roanoke humbly accepts this, yet another prestigious national recognition for our city.”

Barry Caldwell, Waste Management’s Senior Vice President for Public Affairs and Communications, presented the awards during the annual luncheon in Dallas on Saturday, June 21. “It remains a joy for Waste Management to partner with the USCM to honor mayors who are enhancing their cities’ quality of life, which the City Livability Award represents,” said Caldwell. “For more than 25 years, Waste Management has sponsored the award because as the leading provider of comprehensive waste and environmental solutions in North America, our services are vital to the quality of life of cities and communities across the nation.”

“Our City Livability Awards Program gives us the opportunity to highlight mayoral leadership in making urban areas cleaner, safer, and more livable,” said Tom Cochran, CEO and Executive Director of the Conference of Mayors. “We are grateful to Waste Management for its many years of support for the City Livability Awards Program, and for the opportunity to showcase the innovation and commitment of mayors and city governments across the country.”

In addition to the two top awards, which went to New Orleans, La., and West Sacramento, Calif., Outstanding Achievement Awards were given to five cities with populations of 100,000 or more–Arlington, Tex; Philadelphia, Pa.; Phoenix and Mesa, Ariz.; Providence, R.I.–and five cities with populations of less than 100,000– Beverly Hills, Calif.; Braintree, Mass.; Roanoke, Va.; Tamarac, Fla.; and York, Pa. Honorable Mention citations for cities with populations of 100,000 or more went to Aurora, Colo.; Gresham, Ore.; Little Rock, Ark.; and Orlando, Fla. Citations for cities with populations of less than 100,000 went to Brick, N.J.; Cathedral City, Calif.; Newton, Mass.; and Wauwatosa, Wis.


About the United States Conference of Mayors: The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are nearly 1,400 such cities in the country today, and each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor. More information about the U.S. Conference of Mayors can be found at