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Festival of the Future City Bath



Festival of Ideas is working with partners in Bath to extend the festival to neighbouring areas.

In an ever-changing economic and political climate, Festival of the Future City Bath will inspire new thinking on urban habitation and planning. Set against the backdrop of one of the world’s most cherished architectural landscapes, and with a focus on urban development in the twenty-first century, it will explore three principal themes: housing, the artist and the city, and great architecture, both locally and globally.

Three days of talks, workshops and walks exploring architectural gems will address the
question: ‘Whose City is It?’, taking in the complexities of a place like Bath, one of only
two cities in the world with UNESCO world heritage status (the other being Venice). How
should cities reinvigorate their character and economy when looking to the future?

For tickets and booking and full programme information visit The Edge website.

Festival highlights

Image credit: Antwerp Port Authority HQ, Zaha Hadid Architects

Image credit: Antwerp Port Authority HQ, Zaha Hadid Architects

Thurs 19 Oct
3 – 9pm, Various locations
Events suggesting how utopian thinking could develop our cities, and what utopian aspects are already in place. Including ‘Walking Utopia’ a walk around Bath with writer and critic Owen Hatherley – author of A Guide To The New Ruins Of Great Britain and an evening of PechaKucha presentations on ‘Liveable Cities’.

Fri 20 Oct
1pm – 6.30pm Assembly Rooms Bath
Taking in the complexities of a place like Bath we look at the local question of future city. What are the best ways to develop an ecosystem for all to contribute economically, and benefit by return? Is public space an answer? Explore the challenges of preserving architectural heritage whilst creating new buildings and welcoming new populations with leading architect Alison Brooks’ (Bath Western Riverside housing scheme), Henrietta Billings, Director of SAVE Britain’s Heritage, Andrew Vines of Historic England, Jim Heverin, Director at Zaha Hadid Architects and more.

Sat 21 Oct
12.30 – 5.30pm, The Edge, University of Bath
What makes a city a great place to live? Explore radical housing solutions, the city as artistic inspiration and and 21st Century design. Speakers during the day include Stuart Woods (Thomas Heatherwick Studio, Garden Bridge project) Anna Minton (Big Capital), Alex Vasudevan (The Autonomous City), The Design Museum’s Justin McGuirk and artist Rut Blees Luxemburg a photographer and installation artist focusing on urban space.

Produced in association with Modern Culture and

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Earlier Event: October 18
Festival of the Future City
Later Event: October 25
Spooks on the loose!