TAMWORTH council has revealed a sneak peek at its draft plan for what the city might look like with a population of 100,000.
Blueprint 100 included plans to upgrade and extend the CBD along Peel Street, an entertainment precinct with a new theatre, a university precinct anchoring one end of the main street and apartments along Kable Avenue opposite Bicentennial Park.
The man behind the study, Urbanismplus director Kobus Mentz said unsurprisingly, water was a high priority.
"We know water is a show stopper," Mr Mentz said.
"That's why we put very high focus on water very early on in the process, so we deal with it before all the rest.
"If it's business as usual, we have enough water in the LGA for about 80,000 people up to 2041.
"If we want to aspirationally pursue jobs and prosperity for the region, we probably want to aim for 100,000 by 2041."
Council planning director Brent McAllister said he expects other regional cities to follow Tamworth's lead.
"This will give us one single plan for Tamworth instead of the perhaps 50 or 60 we currently have," he said.
"I don't know of any other blueprint plans in regional NSW, so this is the first of its kind.
"I think it will catch on, I think you'll find Wagga and Dubbo will all have their own blueprint plans."
Mr McAllister said the plan would be a "fantastic advocacy tool" to help council lobby the government to invest in big infrastructure projects.
"Governments keep on saying to us that they want an overall plan," he said.
"This will put us ahead of other regional cities in terms of advocacy to government departments."
Mr McAllister was enthusiastic about the plan's housing diversity options.
"In Tamworth, three-to-four bedroom houses won't do for the next 20 years," he said.
Mr Mentz said while Tamworth was already a great place with good assets, resisting inevitable change was a risky option.
"It is never a good formula to stand still, because the world out there will rob you of your riches when you're not looking," he said.
"Cities don't change by accident. It's by people trying to fashion a way forward by having a plan.
"I think there is a wide yearning for a road map for the future, so everyone knows what the priorities are."
Council hopes to have the plan finished by the end of the year, and will put it on public display for feedback soon after.