Human Cities green paper puts the spotlight on urban environments and how they can improve wellbeing

Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod

Home » Urban wellbeing

Published: 22 August 2020

This Article was Written by: Katie Hill - My Green Pod

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Over half of the world’s population now lives in cities, and according to the UN this figure is projected to rise to 68% by 2050.

A new green paper takes an in-depth look at the challenges and dimensions of wellbeing in cities, including physical, mental, social and spiritual elements, and how they overlap and are interdependent.

Nature and mental health

In ‘Human Cities – Increasing Urban Wellbeing’, Therme Group calls for a focus on four main areas to further urban wellbeing: access to nature, sustainable environments, inclusive spaces and accessible art and culture.

It argues that urban spaces must be designed with wellbeing as their primary purpose, placing access to nature as a central consideration.

The paper highlights the need for sustainable environments, addressing societal inequalities in city design to create experiences that benefit the mental wellbeing of all inhabitants.

Therme Group also proposes that cities must include spaces which foster social connection between different groups as an essential element of personal wellbeing.

Finally, the paper recognises the crucial role of art and culture for wellbeing and notes the opportunity to extend out of the ‘white walls’ of galleries into inclusive spaces that improve spiritual wellbeing for all.

‘Wellbeing for all’

In the paper, Therme Group demonstrates that cities consist of complex, interconnected social and technological systems; as the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted, humans are both vulnerable to and dependent on one another.

This interconnection is the driver for Therme Group in leading an inter-disciplinary approach, encouraging collaboration among everyone working to improve life in cities around the world.

The paper draws on research from a broad range of areas including anthropology, geography, physiology, economics, art, psychology and architecture and uses clear case studies to present ‘workable solutions to universal problems’.

It provides an accessible introduction to urban wellbeing, summarises key topics and looks ahead to future developments.

‘At Therme Group, we have a vision of wellbeing for all. Our intention with the Human Cities green paper is to stimulate discussion and collaboration to make life better for people in cities around the world. We are working to be part of the solution to reconnect humans with nature and thrive in urban environments.’

JAMES MARK
Therme Group’s UK chief operating officer

Wellbeing resorts

Combining nature, technology and culture, Therme Group’s wellbeing concept has been highly successful in Europe for over 20 years, with the resorts becoming vital pieces of social infrastructure.

Catering for upwards of a million visitors a year, the large-scale resorts combine global thermal bathing and wellbeing traditions with an indoor biodiverse ecosystem, creating experiences which act as a catalyst for healthy lifestyles.

Providing local and national governments with a solution to help prioritise wellbeing and preventative healthcare, Therme Group is developing projects both in the UK and globally.

UK plans include Therme Manchester, plus locations to be announced in London, Scotland and Wales.

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