The population of Canberra's city centre and inner north would swell to beyond 52,000 - more than triple pre-light rail levels - under the ACT government's vision to reshape the heart of the nation's capital in the coming decades.
The City Renewal Authority on Friday released a new 30-year plan to guide future growth from West Basin and Constitution Avenue up through the Northbourne Avenue corridor.
The plan sets targets for population and employment targets in each of the area's 10 designated precincts. The 92-page strategy sets out a range of broad "actions" designed to stimulate and support the growth, although there are few concrete details on how the vision will be realised.
The precinct's population is expected to swell from 15,440 in 2016 to 52,539 in 2046, according to the strategy. The number of new homes would almost quadruple across the three decades from 7018 to 26,000. An extra 33,902 people are expected to work in the precinct by the middle of the century.
On Friday, Chief Minister Andrew Barr said channeling future development into Canberra's city and town centres would protect the capital's residential suburbs.
"We can't grow out forever," Mr Barr said. "We cannot build in our water catchments, I'm not advocating building in national parks and I don't want to destroy our bushland."
"That necessitates having a larger proportion of future population growth in the city and town centres. The 120-odd leafy Canberra suburbs can largely remain as they are for the next 100 years if we focus a lot of our urban renewal in the city and town centres."
Despite the scale of new development forecast in the strategy, Mr Barr said the rate of change for those living in the city would be "quite gentle".
The Northbourne Avenue corridor is expected to carry the largest share of the precinct's population, with estimates its population will grow from 6094 in 2016 to 14,014 in 2046.
The authority predicts the number of dwellings along the corridor will increase from 2770 in 2016 to 4000 in 2031, before rising to 7000 in 2046.
Those estimates appear conservative in light of the ACT government's final report on the light rail's first stage, which showed about 2500 new apartments were already in the pipeline.
Significant growth is forecast in Dickson, with predictions its population will grow from 1531 to 5601 across the life of the plan. Braddon, which has undergone a drastic transformation in the past decade, is expected to grow at a far slower rate.
But the most substantial change to the makeup of the area will come from the redevelopment of two key precincts - City Hill and West Basin.
The ACT government's four-year land release schedule earmarks the sale of blocks around City Hill to accommodate 1050 apartments. The new strategy indicates that the transformation of the precinct won't stop there, with predictions it will house 2800 dwellings - and a population of 6160 - by 2046.
The long-awaited plans to redevelop West Basin will help boost the lakeside's precinct's population from 1034 in 2016 to 5324 in 2046.
The strategy advocates a "place-led approach" to the renewal of the precincts, focusing on "neighborhood character", sustainability, safety, amenity and housing diversity and social interaction.