All America City

Roanoke All America City logoHome to nearly 100,000 residents, Roanoke is a mountain city and hub for innovation offering award-winning outdoor amenities, endless trails, friendly neighborhoods with character, public art, the famous Roanoke Star, museums, craft breweries, one-of-a-kind shops and restaurants, and historical attractions. Our city is diverse, welcoming, and compassionate. Roanoke is also a National Civic League (NCL) 7-time All-America City and Hall of Fame Inductee and received the first-ever All-America City Hall of Fame Award in 2019!

Since 1949, the National Civic League has recognized and celebrated the best in American civic innovation with the prestigious All-America City Award.  The Award, bestowed yearly on 10 communities (more than 500 in all) recognized the work of communities in using inclusive civic engagement to address critical issues and create stronger connections among residents, businesses, nonprofits and government leaders.  

Roanoke is excited to be a finalist for the 2022 All-America City Award.  The 2022 theme is “Housing as a Platform to Promote Early School Success and Equitable Learning Recovery.”

Make sure to follow us on social media and join in on the conversation to celebrate our All-America City! #AAC2022

Roanoke’s civic infrastructure is focused on making a “collective impact” enabling our community to effectively address complex issues by employing grassroots, collaborative, data driven, evidence-based and comprehensive framework.  This approach has established nationally recognized programs such as an early childhood learning initiative, addressing the opioid crisis, and enhancing access to health care. We utilize a Whole-of-Government Approach that combines the efforts of multiple City of Roanoke departments, community members, and new and existing partnerships to offer coordinated wraparound services. City of Roanoke leaders from government, healthcare, and nonprofit agencies practice more effective resident engagement collectively creating better conditions of health and well-being.  

Roanoke's Highlighted Projects:

marta reader
LEAP workers
  1. Housing as a Platform for Education Equity
  2. Resource Hubs in Melrose
  3. Bringing Fresh Food to Neighborhoods

Since 2017, the Roanoke Public Libraries (a division of the City of Roanoke) has partnered with the Roanoke Redevelopment and Housing Authority as part of the National Book Foundation’s Book Rich Environments initiative. Through this partnership, which afterschool provider Kids Soar joined in 2018, the Libraries, RRHA, and Kids Soar have distributed over 2,000 books to children living at all of RRHA’s public housing properties and to children whose families receive housing choice vouchers. Most of these distributions take place at BRE festivals at public housing properties. These celebrations feature arts and crafts with librarians, police grilling lunch, zoo animal demonstrations, and healthcare providers sharing information.

During a site visit in advance of a Book Rich Environments family festival, staff from afterschool center Kids Soar visited the Roanoke Redevelopment and Housing Authority’s Villages at Lincoln property.  They noticed that Villages at Lincoln had an empty set of spaces, including classrooms. Kids Soar, which has been operating out of Old Southwest since 1989, had been interested in opening a center to serve children living in Northwest Roanoke for years. The Roanoke Redevelopment and Housing Authority and Kids Soar came to a space usage agreement, and in the fall of 2020, Kids Soar opened a site at the Villages of Lincoln that features three classrooms, a library, offices, and a multipurpose space for family nights. This center will serve 75 students from the Northwest area of Roanoke, including many children who live in public housing.