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City Council Vision

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City Hall and Council Chambers

 This is our vision for Harrisonburg 2039. With your help, we can make these aspirations an accomplishment!


A City for All

Harrisonburg is a city with a rich history as a community for all people, regardless of heritage, culture, language, age, economic status, or religion. We are a harmonious, caring, welcoming city where differences are embraced, celebrated, and accommodated. Recognizing Harrisonburg’s diversity, our support systems assure that any resident has access to city services. We are a city that allows all people to feel safe, valued, and have abundant opportunity.


A Thriving Educational Epicenter

Harrisonburg has an exceptional public education system, from pre-kindergarten through high school. Our schools are award winning and nationally recognized. Our investment in education attracts families and engaged leaders, and develops entrepreneurs and forward thinking businesses that contribute to our community. The city’s schools graduate skilled and qualified individuals who are college, career, and life ready. Moreover, as the home of two institutions of higher learning, and in partnership with our regional community college, the city is a hub of innovation, technology, and workforce development.


Available Housing for All

Harrisonburg has been at the forefront in developing a comprehensive approach to community housing needs. The city has successfully partnered with organizations such as the Redevelopment and Housing Authority and Habitat for Humanity and has embraced policies such as a housing trust fund, supported by appropriate fees and incentives. As a result, Harrisonburg offers a wealth of affordable, diverse housing options to its residents. Through innovative planning and partnerships, homelessness in Harrisonburg is now largely a thing of the past. Creative land use planning such as varied lot sizes has permitted flexible redevelopment of our residential areas. The city has logistically integrated high quality affordable housing throughout its neighborhoods. As a result, Harrisonburg’s neighborhoods reflect its diverse and unique character. Moreover, the city has achieved these goals while maintaining a strong and sustainable tax base. 


Distinctive, Reliable Delivery of High Quality City Services

Harrisonburg prides itself on high quality service provision. The city is clean, safe, and has abundant recreational opportunities. Traveling through the city is pleasant and easy, whether by car, bike, foot, or transit bus. Our highly engaged residents know the city is responsive to their concerns. Innovation in service delivery is encouraged and other communities turn to Harrisonburg as a center for best practices. Investments in sustainable assets and infrastructure have established a strong foundation for the future. The city government attracts and retains talented public servants due to its reputation for being well managed and a great employer.


Economic Development: Goals, Gains, and Growth

Harrisonburg is the economic capital of the Shenandoah Valley. We are the business transaction center of western Virginia, where companies and professional service firms want to be. We are the regional destination for education, shopping, dining and entertainment. Our retail centers are robust throughout the city, including along South Main Street, Downtown, and East Market Street. Our regional economic development partnerships have resulted in thriving technology zones, higher wage jobs, and a vibrant North End Gateway. Our economic development strategies continue to grow existing businesses, encourage entrepreneurship, and attract new opportunities.


Fiscal Sustainability and Planning

We are a city with a long-term commitment to meeting demands for increased service while maintaining high standards. The city is financially secure with a AAA bond rating and a healthy fund balance. The city balances its growth through thorough evaluation of future needs and thoughtful planning. There is recognition of the need for careful financial management, while also prioritizing investment in essential operational and capital programs. Bold thinking, community input, and best practices lead the city to consider new paths and structures that have led to our recognition as a model locality.


Download the Harrisonburg 2039 Vision Plan [3.7MB]PDF

Download the Harrisonburg Priorities Guide - Feb. 2020 [6.8MB]PDF