Photo by Liz Kirchner
Blacksburg residents participated in the first of three meetings that will decide how the town will leverage density to achieve equitable, affordable and energy efficient housing.

Liz Kirchner


On folding chairs and blue linoleum in the Program Room at the Blacksburg Community Center, about 30 people attended the first of three community meetings that will weave community input into a complex two-year, four phase multi-institute process that, in the end, will establish structured policy aimed to advance affordable housing and promote green development as Blacksburg’s population booms in the coming years.

Virginia Tech is expected to grow by nearly 10,000 students in the next 5 years.

The conversation seeks to address what to do with that influx of people while clawing back affordable housing while at the same time protecting the town’s climate action mandate and its quality of life.

Increasing density in the redevelopment of aging, energy-spewing housing stock at walkable distances from the school along already existing infrastructure and transportation corridors seems to be the answer.

How much density and where it will happen will be determined, with work and conversation, through Building a Better Blacksburg over the next two years.

In this educational meeting, it was first established that the town faces impediments, represented squarely by a giant boulder on the meeting’s PowerPoint…

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