'Imagine' campaign produces vision for better Ballarat

BALLARAT residents have imagined a city with live music in the bandstands, bike lanes on all major roads and trams in the central business district.

Everyone could cross Sturt Street at the lights without having to run to make it before the red man flashes, the Town Hall bell would ring more regularly and there would be an ice skating rink in the botanical gardens in winter.

City of Ballarat chief executive officer Anthony Schinck said the council had received about 500 submissions to the Ballarat Imagine survey.

“The point of Ballarat Imagine is to create an environment where people can share their ideas,” he said.

“It’s a new way of engaging the community. It’s provocative and it’s about asking for the community’s ideas and suggestions.”

In a bid to harness a more dynamic style of conversation with the community, the council staged a meeting with Ballarat’s ‘Twitterati’ this week, to involve them in the project.

A group of Ballarat’s most prolific tweeters were invited to have a conversation with the council.

Mr Schink said they were encouraged to be provocative and controversial and get online.

“They generate a lot of community discussions on social media,” he said.

The Ballarat Imagine process is an open invitation to the entire community to share what it is they love about Ballarat and imagine for the city by 2040.

Everyone is encouraged to be involved by filling in Ballarat Imagine postcards across the city, filling in online polls, going onto Facebook or Twitter or talking to councillors at events in their neighbourhood.

rachel.afflick@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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