When making successful infill developments, nearby public transport and green spaces are essential, according to one Melbourne leader.
City of Melbourne's lord mayor Sally Capp was in Ballarat on Saturday, taking a tour of the Art Gallery of Ballarat's Becoming Modern: Australian Women Artists 1920-1950 exhibition.
Though crafting the future of part of a metropolitan centre, more than 44 times Ballarat's population size, Cr Capp said there were lessons from metro inner suburbs for build choices in Ballarat.
It comes as City of Ballarat is considering a development of 27 apartments on Davey Street, as part of the Nightingale Project for sustainable and affordable design. The architects of the project have already been successful in creating environment-focused apartments in the inner city suburb of Brunswick.
Cr Capp said her municipality now had a focus "density done well" including quality materials, with the council having plenty of interaction with developers in situations where new, innovative models wanted planning concessions.
She said City of Melbourne works on five tenets when thinking about how to support infill development: creating neighborhoods with different living options, creating jobs and civic spaces, public transport connectivity, and investing in people.
And while Melbourne "certainly hadn't" got the mix right in the past, Cr Capp said, unusual models are worthy of consideration.
"When we're looking at a Nightingale, which has quite a different model around shared space and utilities ... that's really stretched our thinking as members of a city council and the community," she said.
Cr Capp noted the "vibrancy" of cafes and culture which residents love is brought by more people being in the city, and that drives economic development. It's an interesting thought for a city like Ballarat, when the Australian Bureau of Statistics said in 2018 the population of people living in the CBD declined 0.6 per cent.
"The more that we can do great things in Melbourne, but then showcase Ballarat ... the deeper experience that people can have, which creates value for all of us."City of Melbourne's lord mayor Sally Capp
Of the relationship between Melbourne and Ballarat, she said the two municipalities were working in tandem to create "that sense of leverage and scale" nationally and internationally.
"From a city to city point of view, we share a lot of information, we learn from each other, and increasingly we're trying to do more things together," she said.
The setting of Ballarat's art gallery - surrounded by the work of some of Australia's most esteemed female artists, many of whom are only just now getting recognition - provided a worthy point of reflection for Cr Capp.
"For young female leaders to know they can stand on the shoulders of generations that have come before, I think that's really important, she said. "But if we don't know their stories, how are we ever going to learn from that and use it as our platform to keep going."