Bendigo must adapt for growth: expert

BENDIGO’s residential developments and growth corridors need to adapt to Bendigo’s growing population, according to a leading lecturer on the future of Australian cities.

Cities Fellow at the Grattan Institute Peter Mares said there was clear research that showed Bendigo’s growth would change the way people lived.

Speaking at a lecture at the La Trobe Visual Arts Centre last night, Mr Mares looked at the trends of expanding urban boundaries in Melbourne and the lessons that had for Bendigo.

He said there was a gap in the type of homes there were in Bendigo and the type people would look to use in the future.

Mr Mares pointed to figures that showed Bendigo was above the Victorian average in total proportion of detached houses.

“There’s a lower proportion of medium-density and high-density housing than the state average,” he said.

“There could be a lack of choice to move into the inner-city in higher density living... people might be living in houses that cost them more than they might like to spend.” 

La Trobe University Bendigo planning lecturer Andrew Butt said Mr Mares’ lecture was timely advice on how to deal with rapid population growth in the city’s suburbs.

He said the majority of research on dealing with urban growth focused on metropolitan areas and ignored regional centres.

“Three million Australians live in small- and medium-sized rural towns and cities and some population issues are just as acute, if not more acute, in regional areas as they are in the capital cities. 

“So it is an appropriate time to examine what lessons can be learnt from metropolitan growth suburbs.”

Bendigo councillors last week approved early plans for a 1400-lot subdivision at Maiden Gully.

The development on land outside Bendigo’s urban growth boundary will go on public display in coming weeks.

IDEAS: Peter Mares speaks at  La Trobe University. Picture: Brendan McCarthy

IDEAS: Peter Mares speaks at La Trobe University. Picture: Brendan McCarthy


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