The town I grew up in and still live in today is called Demarest, NJ. It is a small town no larger than 2.1 miles squared that is comprised mostly of affluent people who are white or Asian. Living in Demarest for about 16 years now I have watched the town change and shift forms over the years. One example of change is that around 5 or 6 years ago the entire downtown area received a re-haul of the sidewalk quality. The old cobblestone looking bricks were torn up and a brand new pristine sidewalk was created out of sandy looking cobblestones that are much prettier. Additionally, many new street lamps were added to the main corridor that leads through the downtown.
While these changes are mostly for Aesthetic reasons, it also follows that an increase in light reduces crime and provides safer streets at night. The future of Demarest is a bright one but in order for the town to thrive, more commercial space is needed. In the downtown area, there are about 5 shops. There is a post office, a bank, a Dunkin Donuts, a Pizzeria and a deli. Beyond that there is not much else in Demarest downtown. I think the reason for this is that Demarest strives to be a residential town that is beautiful and has high property values while avoiding the congestion caused by having large commercial areas. The traffic after schools is so bad already to add commercial business would be a mess.
Demarest needs a revitalization in my opinion. The nice gazebo that sits in the open field next to the duck pond is pretty, but it should be a garden area. It could also be an area where tons of trees are planted. Ideas like these would make Demarest even more green than it is now without compromising the traffic patterns or effecting the citizens negatively. All in all, Demarest needs to become more green to stand up to the test of time.