• Named one of Georgia’s first "Cities of Excellence" for being one of the state's "best managed and most livable cities” for quality-of-life issues that include administration, citizen participation, community and economic development, cultural arts, education, fiscal management, infrastructure, intergovernmental cooperation, planning, public safety, recreation and leisure services, social services and technology.

  • Named Georgia's 1st Entrepreneur-Friendly Community.
  • Named a 2018 "Great American Defense Community." The South Georgia region—which includes Valdosta, Ga.—is one of five communities across the country to be named a 2018 Great American Defense Community. The Great American Defense Communities, now in its third year, recognizes military communities and regions that help improve the quality of life for service members and military families. Communities are chosen through a competitive nomination process based on community building and integration, support and collaboration, educational and employment opportunities, and family support. 

  • Ranked 6th Best Georgia City for Families in a study conducted by in 2015, outscoring most other Georgia cities in four categories--safety, housing costs, school quality and child-friendliness.

  • Awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting in 2016 for 30 consecutive years and the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for 20 consecutive years, which is the highest form of recognition in governmental budgeting and financial reporting. 

  • Maintains the Insurance Services Office (ISO) Class 1 rating, the highest fire insurance rating in the nation, held by only 136 out of 48,000 communities nationwide, only 11 of them in Georgia out of nearly 700 local governments. Valdosta is the first local government in South Georgia to ever receive a Class 1 rating and represents an elite group of communities totaling less than half of 1% of communities rated. 

  • Georgia Urban Forest Council Outstanding Community Grand Award 2017.

  • Designated a Tree City USA community by the National Arbor Day Foundation for its 31 consecutive years of commitment to community forestry.

  • Maintains one of the lowest millage rates in the state for the citizens of Valdosta, currently 7.95 mills.

  • Listed by U.S. News and World Reports as one of 50 affordable places to buy a retirement home in 2016.

  • Ranked 105 by Forbes Magazine in 2014 as one of the nation’s “Best Small Places for Business and Careers.”  

  • Named one of six America’s Friendliest Cities by Rand McNally and USA Today’s Best of the Road contest in 2011.

  • Re-designated a certified Azalea City by the Azalea Society of America in 2012, a certification that complements the beauty of our city and which must meet certain requirements to be renewed every five years.

  • Received the Gabe Zimmerman Award for Public Service from the National Community Development Association (NCDA) in 2011 for its exemplary ability to secure and utilize federal and state grants that fund the city's Single Family Rehabilitation/Reconstruction Housing Program.

  • Ranked 24th out of 363 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) across the country in regard to the health and vitality of locally-owned businesses. The 2011 Indie City Index is a detailed study of independent retail vitality nationwide that was specifically commissioned by the American Booksellers Association to raise awareness regarding the importance of locally-owned businesses and the substantial economic impact these independent businesses have on their communities.

  • Designated a Preserve America Community by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation for its achievements in protecting and promoting Valdosta’s historic places.

  • Recognized as an Accredited National Main Street program since 1984 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Georgia Main Street Program for commercial district revitalization, meeting standards for performance set by the National Trust for Historic Preservation's National Main Street Center, and for serving as a role model for other state downtown revitalization programs.

  • Voted ESPN’s “TitleTown USA” by fans across America.

  • Selected by the Georgia Emergency Management Agency to facilitate one of four Georgia Search and Rescue Teams in the state, which includes a structural collapse vehicle, equipment and training for the 70-plus member GSAR team, that specifically serves Valdosta and Southwest Georgia.

  • Chosen several times as “One of the Great Places to Retire in the South” by Retirement Lifestyles Magazine and as one of the top 100 places to live by Relocate-America.



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