Several unused pockets of land - including a contaminated mine site and golf course - have been earmarked as possible residential development sites in Bendigo.
High density living will also become a focus in the coming 20 years, with surrounding forests constricting growth options in the region.
The City of Greater Bendigo has indicated a shift towards more compact development in its Residential Development Strategy, which outlines strategies to deal with Bendigo's burgeoning population growth.
The strategy, to be considered by councillors this Wednesday, has indicated a lack of room to move outside the Urban Growth Boundary due to Bendigo being "ringed by forest and national parks".
Several other areas have significant bushfire and flood risks - which also limits the potential for residential growth in those areas.
Several sites have been identified as areas of growth - including the contaminated Chum Street site in Golden Square, the Quarry Hill Golf Course and the former Dai Gum San site in Long Gully.
The council has also outlined growth in Bendigo CBD, areas around LaTrobe University, Bendigo TAFE and the old Gillies factory.
The proposed Forest Park estate earmarked for Maiden Gully will also open up room for 1400 houses.
Bendigo is currently sitting at "very low density" living, but the council's strategy manager Trevor Budge said with a population of 145,000 people expected by 2031, things needed to be done to manage growth.
"If we do expand out, we are limited to selected growth at towns such as Huntly, which is already flood prone, Maiden Gully, Marong and a little bit at Strathfieldsaye," he said.
"We could even see more growth at Elmore and Heathcote.
"There are restrictions in this region because of the neighbouring forests so we have to become more clever in the way we develop. "
Mr Budge said some sites held a real opportunity for infill growth, including the unused mine site at Chum Street in Golden Square - with about 400 houses, a lake and parks outlined for the 10-hectare site.
He said the site had become viable for development despite contamination due to higher-density living options.
"At 12-hectare lots, the state government said development was not viable but now we are looking at 30-hectare lots and even if decontamination cost $2.5 million the viability ramps up," he said.
Councillors will also vote on the Council's Waste and Resources Management Strategy 2014-2019 this Wednesday.
It aims to halve the amount of rubbish each household creates every year.
The report suggests not allowing food and garden waste to enter landfill, replacing the the 240-litre rubbish bin with a 140-litre bin and rolling out a 360-litre recycling bin.