BENDIGO residents say improving the Hargreaves Mall, securing the town's water supply and fixing roads should top the city's 30-year vision.
They gave the feedback as the City of Greater Bendigo consulted the public on its future work.
The council revealed the results on Friday as it finished stage one of a community plan that will shape the city for an entire decade.
More news: Gym to seek Golden Square carparks as home
During the consultations, residents often mentioned the mall when talking about the future of the economy and public safety.
"[They] are divided on what should be done with the mall, with some suggesting it be turned into an attraction and others wanting it demolished," report authors said.
The divide was encapsulated by two separate responses, which were published in the public engagement report and implored the council to "stop wasting money on updating Hargreaves Mall" and "improve Hargreaves Mall, European eateries, lots of umbrellas".
Some people called for free parking to entice people into the city centre, others for keeping development clear of green spaces and parkland.
A number of people warned that more needed to be done to protect Bendigo's water supply.
One respondent went as far as to suggest the council consider desalinating water.
Story continues below the council's engagement report.
People responding to survey questions online said more planning was needed so that the city could withstand climate change and use more renewable energy.
Many residents said cool, shady and green streets were among the most important things the council could do to keep the city healthy and liveable.
Other people said water play spaces and pools were needed, perhaps as part of an adventure playground.
Many said they wanted a focus on sport and recreation facilities.
People living in rural parts of the municipality had an unambiguous message about their hopes. They consistently called for the same inclusion and recognition as those in the city.
"Sometimes this is mentioned regarding infrastructure and sometimes in conjunction with social inclusion," the report said.
Greater Bendigo mayor Jen Alden said the next step was to meet with a range of special interest groups to further test what was said during public consultations.
"We will then present this information to two groups of people as part of a community panel process - 50 people over the age of 18 who were independently selected at random and a separate group of 20 young people aged between 12 and 24 years," she said.
"Participants will work together in May to come up with a community vision for Greater Bendigo and a set of values, based off what the community has said so far."
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content: