Why attend?

This festival will explore why health and wellbeing are essential parts of good placemaking and city design and management. It will bring together an inspirational set of speakers to share some of the best examples from around the world.
So if you are a policy maker, placemaker, health practitioner, Bath resident or just interested in the quality of our environment then this festival is for you.
Why Bath? - Therapeutic City

Why Bath?

Bath has a history as a ‘therapeutic city’. In the 18th and 19th centuries people visited not only to enjoy the thermal waters but to be restored by Bath’s beautiful setting and public spaces…what was known as ‘taking the cure’.

They also came for enlightenment – the city was the centre of the latest radical ideas, debates and thought. We will be continuing this tradition by holding seven days of provocative talks and events.

With its 2000+ years of being a place of healing, Bath is arguably the UK’s original wellbeing city and therefore it is very appropriate for it to be leading the discussion on how our cities can be good for our mind, body and soul.

Why now?

As Bath applies to UNESCO this year to be recognised as one of the Great Spas of Europe, we ask the questions: What should a 21st century spa city be like? How can places and cities have therapeutic value? Can they be an antidote to the stress and pollution normally associated with urban environments?

Why now - Therapeutic City

Gasholders, London by Townshend Landscape Architects. Photo: John Sturrock ©

The Programme

In what ways can a city be actively good for our mind, body and soul?

The festival will explore how we should design and manage a city to promote the following qualities…
Connection to nature



Shared Experience

Sensory Delight

Programme & speakers

The Therapeutic City festival will offer something for everyone interested in making our cities more people and nature friendly. We have an exciting mix of local, UK and international speakers who will be sharing their thoughts and inspiring examples of how we can create places that encourage health and wellbeing.

Friday 20 September

Therapeutic City Festival launch
The Brunswick Room, The Guildhall

Saturday 21 September

LOVE Milsom Street
Milsom Street

The Walking Cure
Outside Abbey

‘What-if’ Design Workshop
Pop-up / pop-in event at 8 Broad Street

Sunday 22 September

LOVE Milsom Street
Milsom Street


Monday 23 September

Healthy City Café debate 1
The Avon Parade

Meet at Prince of Wales Monument, located at the centre of Queen square, Bath

Kingsmead Square Improvement Consultation
Kingsmead Square

Tuesday 24 September

Healthy City Café debate 2
Chapel Arts Café

Meet in Brunel Square outside Bath Spa Station

Kingsmead Square Improvement Consultation
Kingsmead Square

Wednesday 25 September

Healthy City Café debate 3
Boston Tea Party

Thursday 26 September

Taking the Waters
The Drawing Room, Roman Baths

Pre-conference launch event
Green Park Station

Friday 27 September

Therapeutic City conference
Apex Hotel

Download the Programme

Therapeutic City Festival launch

6-8pm Friday 20 September
The Brunswick Room, The Guildhall, Bath

Introduction to the festival via a pecha kucha* style event with a series of thought-provoking talks on the past, present and future of Bath as a Therapeutic city.

*Pecha kucha is a lively presentation style from Japan with each speaker allowed 20 seconds x 20 slides. 




Tickets: Free, but booking required

The Walking Cure

2-3pm Saturday 21 September
Starting from outside the Abbey

Join Martin Gledhill, Senior teaching fellow in the Architecture and Civil Engineering Department at Bath University and Jungian PhD candidate, on a walk through Bath exploring the built and natural landscapes of the city and how we interact with the space around us.

Tickets: £5

Love Milsom Street

Saturday 21 to Sunday 22 September
Milsom Street

Explore car free Milsom Street!

Delivered by Bath & North East Somerset Council, as part of the Love Our High Streets project funded by the West of England Combined Authority, with support from Visit Bath and Bath BID. Find out more https://visitbath.co.uk/listings/single/love-milsom-street/

Tickets Free

‘What-if’ design workshop

2-5pm Saturday 21 September
Pop-up / pop-in event at 8 Broad Street

Is the city good for health and wellbeing? What would you change in the Bath’s public spaces to make them better for our mind, body and soul? Could Bath build on its origins and show the world what a 21st Century therapeutic city looks like?

We invite residents and visitors to Bath to explore designs for an area of the city to transform it for a place for people and nature. These could be small interventions or a major rethink. Let your imagination run wild.

International engineers and local company Buro Happold will curate this session and capture all of the ideas to be shared in a report presented to the city later in the year.

This is a drop-in event aimed at all ages and backgrounds so come and share your thoughts.

No booking required

Kingsmead Square Improvement consultation

Monday-Tuesday 23-24 September
Kingsmead Square, Bath

Come and give your views on a traffic free Kingsmead Square.

B&NES are proposing vehicles be restricted from accessing Kingsmead Square daily during the hours of 11am-12pm, to encourage café culture and create a space more focussed on pedestrians and cyclists. During Monday 23rd and Tuesday 24th September ‘parklets’ will be in situ on New Street and Avon Street to test the concept of reclaiming parking spaces as mini public parks with seating and planting.

B&NES officers will be at the parklets to discuss the proposals and get feedback from the public on Monday 23rd 16:00-18:00 and Tuesday 24th 12:00-14:00. No booking required, just pop by.

No booking required

Healthy City Café Debate 1

5.30-7pm Monday 23 September
The Avon Parade Riverboat, Bath

How should we be planning our cities to create places that are good for our health and wellbeing? What changes do we need to be making to policies about infrastructure, energy, transport and masterplanning? Join us for a lively debate , on a boat!



  • Elena Marco – Head of Department Architecture and the Built Environment, UWE

Tickets: £5


1-2pm Monday 23 September
Meet at Prince of Wales Monument, located at the centre of Queen Square, Bath.
5.30-6.30pm Thursday 26 September
Meet in Brunel Square outside Bath Spa Station.

What is it to hear a city… rather than just see it? Part of Bristol Soundwalks and Hush City academic research, join an experienced acoustic specialist and urban designer and rediscover spaces you thought you knew in Bath. Learn about noise pollution and what effect it has on our day to day lives. Help create a quiet map of Bath, with the potential of guiding future use, development and regeneration to positively impact on the future health of the city, people and nature.

Please download the app here before the soundwalk

Led by Sarah Jones Morris, founder of Landscape Architecture practice Landsmith Associates, and Paul Driscoll, Acoustic Director of Formant.

Tickets: £10

Photo: Ferla Paolo ©

Healthy City Café Debate 2

5.30-7pm Tuesday 24 September
Chapel Arts Café

What major projects are planned or underway in Bath? How are these embracing placemaking and liveability? In this debate we will be inviting project commissioners and designers working on projects in the city to discuss design quality and wellbeing relating to the public realm – what do these look like, how do we achieve them and what are the barriers?



Tickets: £5

Healthy City Café Debate 3

5.30-7pm Wednesday 25 September
Boston Tea Party, Alfred Street, Bath

How are designers incorporating health and wellbeing into their work? A look at some innovative local and UK projects by several award-winning Architects and Landscape Architects.



Tickets: £5

Borough High Street by LT Studio. Photo: Craig Sheppard ©

Taking the Waters

4.30-6pm Thursday 26th September
The Drawing Room, Roman Baths

There is only one thermal spring in the UK.

Join us to hear how Bath Abbey and The Roman Baths are harnessing the water as a sustainable energy source for the first time in 2,000 years.

Introduced by Councillor Dine Romero



The discussion will be followed by drinks and privileged access visits to the spring.

Tickets: £10—£8

Pre-conference launch

6-10pm Thursday 26th September
Green Park Station, Bath

Hosted by Urban Scandinavian Design Company Vestre.

Vestre will be showcasing their range of urban street furniture in an evening of food, drink and talks in the spectacular setting of Bath’s Green Park Station.

Tickets: Invitation only

Highline, New York – Diller Scofidio + Renfro

Therapeutic City conference

9.00-5.30pm Friday 27 September
Apex Hotel, Bath

A key conference for professionals, with leading local, national and international speakers. This day-long event will ask how we can create places that are good for the mind, body and soul by exploring the best examples from the UK and around the world. Through different sessions it will look at how we should design and plan our cities; how green and blue space is more important than ever before; what the link is between place; water and wellbeing; how the economy and wellbeing are directly related and why our cities need to allow for play and leisure.

Keynote speaker:


Tickets: £65, Student rate £20


We are immensely grateful to the following sponsors and supporters.

If you would like to find out how you could also sponsor or support the event or for any more information please contact: info@architectureis.org.uk

Sponsors in kind

Festival partner

Festival sponsor

Festival supporter

Festival Friend

The festival has been organised by Architecture IS who comprise of:

  • Funda Kemal – B&NES
  • Amy Frost – Bath Preservation Trust
  • Lucy Barron – Donald Insall Associates
  • Rob Delius – Stride Treglown

Architecture IS’s mission is to celebrate Bath as a city with a rich architectural past, but with the potential of an even richer future. They are 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.

Book tickets

Bookings are be taken care of by Bath Box Office, please visit their website by clicking the link below.
Book Now
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