Therme Group, the global wellbeing organisation and developer of some of the largest water-based attractions in the world, is driven by the belief that wellbeing should be accessible to all. On Clean Air Day, UK Chief Operating Officer, James Mark, reflects on the world’s increasing focus on urban health and wellbeing.

Clean Air Day, along with the events of 2020, drives us to give increased attention and urgency to the challenges of health and wellbeing in urban environments. More than this, we are seeing an invigorated push for practical action from central and local governments and all city stakeholders.

At Therme Group, we are driven by the belief that wellbeing should be accessible to all – a vision we are focused on realising in cities around the world. At the heart of our work is the creation of sustainable and inclusive wellbeing resorts, founded in nature, culture and technology. However we also see a wider opportunity to help create connected city systems, working with everyone invested in the collective wave of innovation to increase urban wellbeing.

To help stimulate discussion we explored how humans can thrive in urban environments in our recently published green paper Human Cities: Increasing Urban Wellbeing. The paper draws on research from a broad range of academic disciplines including anthropology, geography, physiology, economics, art, psychology and architecture. By making the report freely available we are aiming to provide an accessible introduction to urban wellbeing, and a starting point to explore practical solutions to universal problems.

Air pollution is one of several factors looked at in the report that influence physical wellbeing. City growth and rising pollution levels go hand in hand and with the UN reporting that by 2030, 706 cities will have at least 1 million or more inhabitants the problem only looks set to grow. As troubling evidence of the impact, Kings College London reports that 500,000 deaths a year in Europe are attributed to air pollution, and think tank Centre for London reports 2 million people in London living with illegal levels of air pollution.

In looking for solutions, Human Cities proposes that urban spaces should be designed with wellbeing as their primary purpose, placing public access to nature as a central consideration. Reducing traffic, making cities more accessible by foot and bicycle, and introducing more public green spaces provides greater opportunity for inhabitants to exercise and experience their city, with reduced levels of harmful air pollution.

At Therme Group, we are implementing this thinking by developing locations close to city centres, ensuring that large proportions of the communities we serve can travel to our wellbeing resorts by foot, bicycle and public transport. Combined with affordable prices, this accessibility allows us to cater for upwards of a million visitors a year in each of our resorts.

We offer guests a spectacular environment which combines global thermal bathing and wellbeing traditions with a biodiverse ecosystem. All of our resorts use state-of-the-art plant-based filtration to purify the environment, so guests are always breathing the freshest air and swimming in the cleanest ozone-treated water.

Therme group’s healthy and inclusive wellbeing resort concept

With multiple projects in development worldwide, we are looking to help provide local and national governments with a solution to prioritise wellbeing and preventative healthcare. Through initiatives such as the publication of Human Cities, we hope to stimulate discussion and collaboration. By examining challenges such as air pollution and in seeking solutions, we are working to make life better for people in cities around the world, reconnecting humans with nature and helping them to thrive in urban environments.

Author: James Mark, COO Therme Group UK

‘Human Cities – Improving Urban Wellbeing’ is available to download at, where readers can also register for future events based on the themes of the paper.