Village Voices: Downtown Dialogues

Ridgewood’s Central Business District, or Downtown, is without a doubt one of the defining features of the Village. Downtown features strongly in the hearts and lives of many residents and the people who own and/or operate the businesses and organizations located here. A group of business- and property-owners participated in a roundtable discussion last month about the present and future of downtown. What do they see and need as they look into the future? Click here to read “Village Voices: Downtown Dialogues.”

Village Voices

The primary goal of Our Village, Our Future is to implement a community visioning process that reaches out to a broad range of Village residents and other stakeholders. As part of this process, we’re participating in discussions with various groups of people. We’ve invited residents to help out by organizing discussions with their friends, neighbors, or fellow club/congregation members (see the Get Involved page). We’ve also created the Visioning Questionnaire and the Map Your Vision tool, both of which we will close up in mid-April in order to start compiling results.

To capture and communicate the results of all of these engagement activities, we’ve created a new section of this website called Village Voices. Click here to see the first entry on this page, which is titled “The Younger Generation.”


Winter Progress Report

The primary goal of Our Village, Our Future is to implement a community visioning process that reaches out to a broad range of Village residents and other stakeholders and encourages them to think about and discuss the values, principles, goals, and priorities that should shape the future of the Village. Here are some of the highlights of the progress so far:

Sought Help to Promote Our Village, Our Future. Contacted more than 30 local organizations (e.g., clubs, civic and religious organizations, etc.) to request help in promoting the visioning process. Provided language and graphics for their e-news and social media channels. (Thanks to the Ridgewood Chamber of Commerce, Age-Friendly Ridgewood, Ridgewood Newcomers, Ridgewood Walks, and any others that have helped cross-promote. Please continue to keep your constituencies informed.)

Sign-Ups to “Get Involved.” Fourteen people volunteered to help promote the visioning process to their neighbors and friends in the Village, with several eager to participate in the engagement process in greater depth. We provided online toolkits based on the activities selected. If you are interested in getting involved, visit the Get Involved page!

Launched the Visioning Questionnaire. More than 700 people have completed the Visioning Questionnaire so far. Since the Village’s population is more than 25,000, we are making a push for more exposure and responses. We will be sending a postcard mailer to every household about Our Village, Our Future.

Posted the Map Your Vision tool. The complementary follow-up to the questionnaire is the Web-based Map Your Vision tool, which provides people with an opportunity to pinpoint and describe specific locations in the Village that represent special places, challenges or issues, and/or ideas for the future. So far, more than 70 such locations have been highlighted. Let’s aim for at least 200!

Met with the Central Business District Advisory Committee to discuss past and current challenges, recent and ongoing initiatives, and reaching out to property- and business-owners as part of the visioning process.

Highlights of what’s coming up in the next few weeks:

Environmental Advisory Committee and Green Team meeting to learn about their priorities, plans, and initiatives for a more sustainable Village.

 “Downtown Roundtable” discussions with property-owners, business-owners, and realtors to learn about their challenges, ideas, and visions for the future of downtown.

Ridgewood High School student discussion groups to listen to students’ thoughts and opinions about Ridgewood today and their hopes and ideas for the Village in the future.

Discussion Groups run by volunteers who signed up on the Get Involved page are anticipated to take place this winter.

Map Your Vision

A belated Happy New Year! Through the Visioning Questionnaire (which we encourage you to complete if you still haven’t had the chance yet) you have the opportunity to share opinions, ideas, and aspirations about the Village of a relatively general nature. Today, we are launching a new tool called Map Your Vision so you can provide more focused input. Map Your Vision is a web-based public engagement tool through which you pinpoint specific locations on a map, type in and categorize your comments about those locations, and (if you wish) upload photos associated with those locations. The Map Your Vision tool asks you to pinpoint and provide comments on three topics: Favorite or Special Places, Opportunities or Ideas for the Future, and Current or Future Challenges or Issues.


A Few Technical Notes: While this tool will work on a tablet or cell phone, it tends to be easier to navigate, operate, and see other people’s contributions to the map using a laptop or desktop computer. Also note that the map functions much like a Google Map in that you can zoom in and out, pan (shift) the map around in any direction using your mouse, and change the base map to an aerial/satellite photo. The basic instructions for adding points to the map are located on the top of the Map Your Vision website. If you have any questions or need technical support, e-mail

Get Involved

Would you like to help out with the visioning process? One of the goals of Our Village, Our Future is to reach out to and engage as many people as possible in the Ridgewood community in the visioning process. Through the Visioning Questionnaire, we have heard from more than 500 people so far.

You can help us reach out to even more people through your friends, family, neighbors, and through local clubs/organizations in which you belong. On the Get Involved page of this website, we identify six ways that you can help out with the visioning process. While you can still help with any of the methods, through the end of this month and January, we are focusing on two of the six: #4 Conduct Video or Audio Interviews and #5 Facilitate a Discussion. The links will take you to toolkits that provide guidance on these activities. Take a moment to review the tookits, and if you are interested in one or both of these activities, let us know by filling out the form on the Get Involved page.

Visioning Questionnaire

We’ve reached the 400 mark for responses to the Visioning Questionnaire! But we still have a long way to go to reach our goal of at least 2,000 responses. Carve a few minutes our of your day and click here to share your thoughts on the Village today and 5, 10, 20 years into the future through the Visioning Questionnaire. Then, via e-mail or Facebook, tell your friends and neighbors to do the same. Copy and paste the language below and help spread the word!

What is YOUR vision for the future of the Village? Fill out the Visioning Questionnaire online at This questionnaire is part of Our Village, Our Future, a process that will inform the creation of the Village’s next Master Plan. The primary goal of Our Village, Our Future is to implement a community visioning process that reaches out to a broad range of Ridgewood residents and other stakeholders—which includes businesses, institutions, and community organizations—and encourages them to think about and discuss the values, principles, goals, and priorities that should shape the future of Ridgewood.

Let’s Get Started!

The Village of Ridgewood, NJ is excited to launch Our Village, Our Future, a visioning process that will contribute toward the creation of a new Master Plan for the Village. Here are three things that you can do right now to get started:

1. STAY UP-TO-DATE. If you haven’t done so already, sign up to receive e-mail updates about Our Village, Our Future. Look for “RECEIVE E-MAIL UPDATES” in the right sidebar or, if you are on a cell phone or tablet, scroll down.

2. FILL OUT THE VISIONING QUESTIONNAIRE. We’d like to know a little more about you and ask questions that get you thinking about the Village today and 5, 10, 20 years into the future. Click here to fill out the Visioning Questionnaire.

3. SIGN UP TO GET INVOLVED. If you’d like to get involved in the visioning process by helping out with promotions and engagement, click here to see how you can help.

Please visit the FAQ page for more detailed information about Our Village, Our Future.