Future mapped out for city

The strategy deals with an increase of urban population. - Trevor Budge

BENDIGO'S residential needs are drastically changing, with 40 per cent of all development occurring within the existing urban area. 

City of Greater Bendigo strategy manager Trevor Budge said more and more people were opting to live within a stone's throw of the city, with less people living per household. 

Within 15 years, more than 60 per cent of households are expected to house only one or two people and even more will be living on the city's fringe. 

Due to these drastic changes, caused by economic, social and demographic factors, the council is calling on residents to start thinking about a proposed residential strategy.

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The residential strategy is likely to be released for public comment in early April, subject to council approval.

It will help shape the future of Bendigo. 

And with $400 million spent on residential development in Bendigo each year, Mr Budge said it was important to foster well thought-out growth within the region. 

Mr Budge said Bendigo had changed significantly since the strategy was last reviewed in 2004, with the population growing quicker than expected.

Mr Budge said with the release of the strategy in April, the council wanted people to start thinking about the type of housing to be offered.

"This background information has helped frame the strategy and we want Bendigo residents to be informed about what is happening," he said. 

"We also want their thoughts as we work on this important plan."

Mr Budge said a lot of Bendigo's growth was based on people moving to the city, rather than just a natural population increase. 

"The strategy deals with an increase of urban population, as well as proposed "10 minute neighbourhoods" within outlying towns," he said. 

"This is where we aim towards a plan where houses in new residential areas are in 10-minute walking distances of convenient shops, schools and a park."

He said by 2030, it was expected that more than 60 per cent of people would be living in one or two people homes. 

"This is a huge change and a lot of this has to do with social factors, kids moving out of home, marriage breakups, and an ageing population," he said. 

"What it will mean is that there will be a surge of people needing smaller households."

There is also a need for inner-city living, Mr Budge said, meaning residential development could be built up, rather than across.

"Less and less people are using their cars, and they want to be near that buzz of the city, so we're seeing 40 per cent of all growth within the current urban area," he said. 

"These are all things we’ve considered when we worked on the strategy."

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