According to Planning Minister John Rau, Adelaide's West End will become a commercial and educational epicentre over the next decade.

The city is expected to house over 20,000 new workers and residents over that time, bringing about radical change in the city centre according to the state government’s latest population forecast.

The Government said the growth will mean around 20,500 people moving from outside the CBD to the city’s West End. An urban plan is being developed to ensure the area’s existing infrastructure can meet the needs of the growing population.Furthermore, a survey conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit rated the South Australian capital as one of the most liveable cities in the world, ranking it fifth for the second consecutive year.

According to the government forecast, the expected will see the area grow to rival the East End and Victoria Square, leading to some concern that the East End may wind up losing out as more workers move to the West End.

West End of Hindley St

Hindley St in Adelaide’s West End at present.

Adelaide City Council figures foresee the area being home to a total population of more than 32,000 in a decade, a dramatic increase over the current 21,770.

Rau said the West End area was set to take over as Adelaide’s main commercial and educational hub, while high-end retail and restaurants would serve as the key attractions for the East End.

Property Council SA branch executive director Nathan Paine said the proposed riverbank developments would “turbo-charge” the West End, but he warned about the impact that could have on the East End.

New jobs in the West End will be created by the construction of RAH and SA Health and Medical Research Institute, the new UniSA Centre for Cancer Biology, and the extension of the Adelaide Convention Centre and Casino.

More than $350 million has been approved for developments in the West End, including mixed residential and retail buildings, as well as student accommodation and hotels, providing several housing options for the new residents.

An infrastructure development plan will see lighting, parking, public toilets, footpaths, traffic management and transport – including the expansion of dedicated cycling lanes – improved in the area.

West End of Hindley St

Artist’s impression of proposed upgrades to Hindley St in Adelaide’s West End

The Council predicts the West End will experience the city’s largest amount of development over the next 30 years – including 4,280 new homes by 2031.

In addition to the Torrens riverbank redevelopment, a $4 million upgrade of the western end of Hindley St – to be completed by February and funded by the government, city council and UniSA – will see footpaths widened, more trees planted, and street furniture and new pedestrian crossings installed.