Welcome to Virginia's Blueprint for Livable Communities!


As the "Commonwealth of Opportunity", Virginia strives to be a place where all people are able to experience the dignity of decision-making in their own lives; to have a chance to engage meaningfully in social and civic activities; to participate in the economic mainstream; and to live well while challenging themselves to learn and grow through new experiences.

In efforts to support the changes urgently needed to secure all Virginians the opportunity to live and age optimally in their community, a “Blueprint” for Livable Communities was created to offer diverse and useful best practices to assist communities across the Commonwealth of Virginia in developing livable communities. The intent of this information is to spur creativity by sharing the current innovative actions of Virginians improving their communities’ livability.

photo of homes and community

About Us


What is a "Livable Community?"

A “livable community” is a community that is designed and functions in a way that facilitates well-being for all of the people who live there, regardless of age, income, or ability. It is a holistic goal that is achieved through a long-term, open-ended, community planning process.

What is Livable Communities Planning?

Livable communities planning is the process through which a community focuses on supporting the lifelong wellness of its population through both the design of the spaces people use and the services that support them to do so. An activity aimed at improving community livability can be undertaken by any group of citizens, advocates, or leaders in a community; and the “community” itself can encompass a geographic area that is as small as a city block or neighborhood and as large- or larger than- an entire state. A project need not be comprehensive in order to have an impact. One citizen petitioning for an accessible bus stop or fundraising for a strategically-placed park bench can improve community livability in the same way as a county-wide rezoning initiative or a multi-million-dollar collaboration on an accessible housing development.

In short, communities and people may differ widely in how they choose to undertake livable communities planning.

Virginia’s Blueprint for Livable Communities

In 2010, the Virginia General Assembly passed legislation that required the Secretary of Health and Human Resources to develop a blueprint for long-term services and supports. With leadership from the Department of Rehabilitative Services and the Virginia Department for the Aging, Virginia convened an 18-member Blueprint for Livable Communities Citizen Advisory Group comprised of citizens and state agency representatives with expertise and background experiences in critical fields involved in livable communities planning. The advisory group informed the creation of the Blueprint for Livable Communities and still meet periodically to help promote and support the development of livable communities across the Commonwealth.

You can download the full report in PDF format.

photo of group of people sitting in rows, smiling

Age Wave Planning


Find links to example documents, with introductions provided below.

New River Aging In Place Action Plan

In recognition of growing housing and service challenges, Successfully Aging at Home in the New River Valley – a grassroots, community-based initiative – was established to meet an unmet and growing need: the ability of residents to age in their homes and communities.

Chesapeake 55 & Better Plan

This Chesapeake 55 and Better Comprehensive Plan was developed with the active participation of many people in our community who had ideas and opinions about what they want their community to be like for persons 55 and over.

The City of Alexandria Strategic Plan on Aging

Most Americans want to stay in their own homes and communities as they age. Alexandria offers attractive features in abundance that make the desire to age at home especially compelling.

Greater Richmond Regional Plan for Age Wave Readiness

The Greater Richmond Age Wave is a collaboration of public and private organizations, businesses, and individuals including older adults working to prepare for the opportunities and challenges of our region’s growing aging population.

Williamsburg Community Action Plan on Aging

This Plan delineates goals, strategies, and action steps that can be implemented by the SSC, the three jurisdictions, and the community over the next ten years to assure the Greater Williamsburg Area is a “more livable community for seniors.”

Fairfax 50+ Community Action Plan

The initiative is framed with the recognition that County revenue for human services, as well as pressures on individual income, impacts the ability to meet both present and projected caregiver and care recipient needs.

Arlington County Elder Readiness Plan

As baby boomers age, the number of elders in Arlington will more than double. The County Board charged the Elder Readiness Task Force in 2006 with assessing County readiness to meet the changing needs of a growing elder population. The Elder Readiness Plan is a blueprint for an inclusive, livable community that will be ready to meet the increased needs of the elder population expected over the next 25 years.

Rappahannock Rapidan Region’s Aging Together Partnership

Aging Together’s vision is that the needs and preferences of older adults will be recognized and honored as our region creates livable communities for all ages.

The Partnership for a Livable Roanoke Valley

This executive summary summarizes a two-year long undertaking to engage our stakeholders and community in a process to articulate a vision, principles and goals, and to develop a strategic action plan to realize our vision for a “Livable Roanoke Valley".

photo of group of people sitting in rows, smiling
photo of group of people sitting in rows, smiling

Contact Us


DARS logo

Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services
8004 Franklin Farms Drive, Richmond, VA 23229

Charlotte Arbogast, (804) 662-7093

Standards & Policies

At a minimum, this website meets Section 508 and Level AA Conformance to WCAG 2.0.
Learn about our policies on gathering information, plug-ins and more:
ADA | FOIA | Web Use | Accessibility

For technical questions, contact the Webmasters.