About the project

Bendigo Bank rooftop view

We are seeking your ideas about the future of Bendigo and the steps needed to achieve them.

The project will be led by the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities and supported by our partners in Victoria, including Coliban Water, the City of Greater Bendigo, and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. The project is guided by a steering committee of Bendigo-based representatives of key industry stakeholders.

Bendigo represents an exciting location in which to focus on long-term sustainable water planning and management. It has a strong community identity with an active history of confronting water management challenges. The Bendigo community seeks growth and prosperity, and aspires to achieve development sustainably. Additionally, Bendigo’s future climate is projected to be hotter and drier, with occassional intense storms. With the community, government and industry working towards shared solutions, Bendigo will be positioned to achieve a more sustainable, liveable and resilient future.

It is within this context that this project offers a unique opportunity for the Bendigo community, including government and industry, to explore strategic solutions to the long-term challenges for Bendigo. Your participation will form part of a groundbreaking national research project to equip Australia’s cities and regions with the tools to accelerate change towards a more sustainable future for water services and the environment. The project will produce lessons to guide sustainable water transition planning for cities around the world. It will also generate valuable strategic insights for each of the case study locations that relevant agencies and organisations may choose to incorporate into their formal policy development processes. As with other case study locations, this research does not displace or replicate formal policy-making processes for the Bendigo area. However, this project represents an opportunity to bring all stakeholders together to consider Bendigo's water context as a whole, and to explore the deeper long-term transformations to support formal planning and policy-making processes.

The national research project (CRC for Water Sensitive Cities Integrated Research Project 1)

The research project involves a series of workshops in multiple case studies across Australia, designed to facilitate open and in-depth discussion among key local stakeholders. The workshops will inform the development of a transition strategy for each case study, which will incorporate a benchmark of the city’s current water sensitive status, a broad vision for a water sensitive future and an analysis of conditions needed to accelerate the transition from current state to the aspired future state. Some case studies will also result in an implementation plan that outlines specific actions for achieving the vision and the transition strategy. Bendigo is one such case study. The Bendigo case study is unique, however, in also incorporating community perspectives through a series of parallel community workshops.

A key research aim of this project is to evaluate the processes and patterns of change across the selected case studies to assess the effectiveness of the participatory methods, transition strategies and implementation plans in steering policy and practice towards the Water Sensitive City vision.

The Bendigo workshop series

The participation of a broad array of Bendigo stakeholders is sought between October 2017 and April 2018 through surveys, interviews and group workshops. Workshops will by dynamic and interactive, and aim to leave participants with a better understanding of their community and the role that water plays in its future.

If you are interested in participating in the project, please get in touch with the team by registering your interest or emailing us directly.


  • CRC for Water Sensitive Cities
  • Australian Government - Business - Cooperative Research Centres Programme
  • Monash University
  • Queensland University