UN casts eyes on Bendigo for global planning conference

CASE STUDY: The immediate past and current regional EAROPH presidents Kerry McGovern and Jane Stanley tour Bendigo. Picture: DARREN HOWE
CASE STUDY: The immediate past and current regional EAROPH presidents Kerry McGovern and Jane Stanley tour Bendigo. Picture: DARREN HOWE

Bendigo will be used as a case study on how to build a regional economy at a United Nations conference in South America later this year. 

This, after a regional think tank toured the city yesterday to see how it was employing sustainable urban planning, City of Greater Bendigo strategy manager Trevor Budge said. 

“They had the opportunity to meet anywhere in Australia,” Mr Budge said. 

“They deliberately chose Bendigo and central Victoria because they heard about the great things that are happening here in terms of economic development, urban design and how arts and culture are rejuvenating the city,” 

More than 30 members of the Australian Chapter of the Eastern Regional Organisation for Planning and Human Settlements (EAROPH) – a think tank which encourages excellence in planning and development –visited the Ulumbarra Theatre, the Bendigo Art Gallery and new housing developments on Friday. 

The case studies from Bendigo will inform the United Nation’s Habitat III Conference to be held in Ecuador in October. The conference is held every 20 years and offers a unique opportunity to discuss the challenge of how cities, towns and villages are planned and managed.

Afterwards they held a forum on housing and the role of local government and urban design, CBD regeneration and the role of arts and culture in Bendigo’s economic development, EAROPH president Jane Stanley said. 

“We're interested in what is involved in building a regional economy that's not connected to a big city metropolis,” Ms Stanely said.

“We're going to look at Harcourt and Casltemaine and Bendigo as the three levels of hierachy and we'll be looking at what the strengths of each economy are and how they can work together to build a regional economy.” 

EAROPH will issue a report on how the three communities can work together for mutual benefit in coming weeks. They will then take their findings to the UN’s Habitat III Conference to be held in Ecuador in October.

The global planning conference is held every 20 years.