- The Roanoke Valley has earned a Four-Star rating in Expansion Management magazine's fifth annual Quality of Life Quotient for May 2003. The rating was based on a reasonable cost of living, affordable housing, low crime, excellent transportation access, good public schools, proximity to community colleges and universities, an educated work force, and low taxes.
- The Crystal Spring Filtration Plant has won the 2003 Project of the Year Award from the American Public Works Association in the $2 to $10 million category.
- Roanoke Citizen has won the 2003 Savvy Award (first place) in the Newsletter/Magazine category bestowed by the City-County Communications and Marketing Association, while the "Every Drop Counts" water campaign won the Silver Circle Award (second place) for Best Communications Plan.
- Once again, for the third year in a row, the Center for Digital Government has chosen Roanoke as the top digital city in its population category of 75,000 to 124,999. Roanoke is the only city to rank first for 3 years in a row. Not only was the city recognized for its citizen friendly website, but also for offering free downtown wireless Internet service and regional public access kiosks.
- The National League of Cities and the CH2M Hill Company sponsor the James C Howland Awards for Urban Enrichment. The 2003 James C Howland Silver Winner in the 50,001 - 150,000 population category was Roanoke's "Every Drop Counts" water conservation education campaign.