Does our home town make us happy?

Our city of festivals is about to welcome a new one. This time exploring how our home town can be better designed and managed as a city for well-being.

How can we make a city that is good for our body, mind and soul? From September  the 20th to the 27th – the Therapeutic City Festival will see a week of walks, talks and activities in and around Bath and  opens the conversation about how we design and manage a city for health and happiness.


The festival is about looking at Bath’s history as a ‘therapeutic city’, a place where people have come – not only to use the thermal waters – but also to be restored by Bath’s beautiful setting and public spaces.

As Bath applies to UNESCO to be recognised as one of the Great Spas of Europe, we ask the questions – what should a 21st century spa city be like? Does the whole city still have therapeutic value? Can it be an antidote to the common stress and pollution normally associated with urban environments?

In the 18th and 19th centuries visitors also came to Bath for enlightenment – the city was the centre of the latest radical ideas, debates and thought. The Therapeutic City Festival will continue this tradition by holding seven days of provocative talks and events, aimed at local residents, the general public and professionals involved in the design and management of Bath and other cities.

Health and wellbeing are now highly topical issues so it is perfect timing for Bath, arguably the original wellbeing city, to lead the discussion on how our cities can be good for our mind, body and soul.

The Therapeutic City Festival is created by Architecture Is, the collective behind the 2017 Festival of the Future City in Bath, and supported by RIBA.

Jon Watkins, RIBA South West, Regional Director comments: ‘The Royal Institute of British Architects(RIBA) are delighted to be supporting this festival, it highlights the need to open up conversationsaround ‘the use of a city’ and what type of legacy we want to leave behind. Architecture is central tothis and plays a significate role in engaging communities – we need to learn to be more sustainableand societies are demanding better infrastructure to change the way we live and work together’ .


Festival Highlights
Friday 20th September Bath:TherapeuticCity,6-8pm@theGuildhall. Looking at the past, present and future of Bath as a therapeutic city. Speakers from Historic England, the National Trust, University of Bath and Grant Associates Landscape Architects.

Saturday 21st -Sunday 22nd September: Healthy Living, Healthy City Weekend A weekend of healthy and creative activities, explorations and exercise, including the Love Milsom Street car free weekend.

Monday23rd –Wednesday 25th September:Café salons 6-8pm. We take over some of the city’s cafes for relaxed and lively evenings as residents and professionals debate how to shape a therapeutic and healthy city.

Friday 27th September:Therapeutic City Conference 9am–5pm@ApexHotel. Bringing together international policymakers, designers and developers to explore how to create a city that promotes and supports wellbeing. Speakers include Basalt Architects, Grant Associates, Invisible Studio, Tonkin Liu, Townshend Landscape Architects and many more.


Find out more at @therapeuticity or contact 07732172872


For your information:

Architecture Is… the organisers of the Therapeutic City Festival. Their mission is to celebrate Bath as a city with a rich architectural past, but with the potential of an even richer future. They are a group of individuals, from various backgrounds and interests. They are all passionate about this city, and have taken up the challenge to start a conversation, enabling everyone to explore what the city and its buildings and spaces means for them now and into the future. In 2017 they held the highly successful‘Festival of the Future City’ in Bath.

1 Comment

  1. In a few weeks the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases moves to RUH Combe Park. The most historic spa after the Roman site is within the present RNHRD in Upper Borough Walls which was sold two years ago. I may be wrong but I believe that the first buyer has now sold it on and nothing has yet been released publicly about plans for this site which is connected by a tunnel with the Roman Baths. When I first lived in Bath in the 60s there were several sites where residents of the area could access the unique spa waters at no charge. Now there are none. How can Bath claim this title of spa city without anyone being able to use the waters who are not relatively well-off? Unlike other European spa cities, Bath no longer boasts a central spa hospital since it has sold it.

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