Village Voices: A Neighborly Discussion

Since the start of the visioning process, we’ve sought assistance from residents with a range of promotional and engagement activities. To encourage more conversations among neighbors and friends about the future of Ridgewood, one way to get involved is to hold a group discussion on this topic.

This Village Voices segment focuses on a group discussion that took place in April, with a follow-up discussion held in May. The discussion was initiated by a resident who has lived in Ridgewood for many years. We provided a toolkit that contains guidance on organizing and facilitating the discussion and instructions for reporting back the results. The resident convened a group of four other long-time residents, all of whom have been active at one time or another in various civic organizations and/or Village matters.

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Village Voices: Seniors

Ridgewood is known for being a “family town,” owing to a well-regarded school system located in a safe community. However, we’ve heard many people remark that the “For Sale” signs go up on front yards as soon as high school graduation is over.

While it’s become cliché, this statement does bear some truth. Some “empty-nest” parents do move away from the Village after their children graduate and go off to college, whether due to high costs of living, for a new job, to live in a more urban environment, to be closer to their grandchildren, or for some other reason.

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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?

More than 20 business- and property-owners attended a roundtable discussion at the Ridgewood Public Library auditorium on the morning of February 20th about Ridgewood’s Central Business District, or “Downtown.” Click here to continue reading

Village Voices: The Younger Generation

The visioning process could not be considered thorough without having consulted with the younger generation in Ridgewood (i.e., residents under the age of 18), which represents more than 30% of the Village’s population. Within this demographic, high school students are especially active participants in Village life. They walk and drive through Ridgewood’s streets, enjoy public parks and the library, participate in community activities and events, attend school, take the train, and are frequent customers in downtown’s shops, cafes, and restaurants. What are their thoughts about Ridgewood today and into the future?

On March 5th, we met with six junior and senior student leaders of the Ridgewood High School (RHS) Project Interact Club, along with the group’s teacher-advisors. The initial questions prompted them to describe the Village and talk about the qualities or parts of it they appreciate, use, or find important. The conversation then evolved into a discussion of how Ridgewood could be improved, from which emerged several principles to consider. The summary of that part of the discussion is organized by these “emerging principles.” Click here to continue reading