Bath, city under seige

Susanna Polihros
This thesis examines current historic preservation and conservation efforts for Bath, England's only complete UNESCO World Heritage city, where urban and commercial development remain a controversial threat. This is best represented by the opposing views of the Bath Preservation Trust and the Bath & North East Somerset Council. While the Trust stands as a supporter of saving Georgian Bath, the Council continues to sacrifice precious greenbelt areas and historic buildings for the purpose of
more » ... cting tourists and prospective residents. Both organizations are extensively examined within the course of this thesis with the intention of better comprehending the future of Bath. Although no definite answer can be reached at this point in time, examining social and political issues in this city demonstrates that there is a serious need for legal intervention to prevent further destruction to a past way of life so that the modern world can emerge. To compile such an argument, I begin with a historical overview of the city's culture and architecture in relationship to the growing presence of tourism, derived from official Bath and UNESCO websites. This establishes a framework for the rest of my argument. I then discuss the unsettled issue of fracking and its impact upon Bath's architecture, namely the successfully restored Roman Baths. This is juxtaposed to the loss of Bath's architectural heritage through the creation of SouthGate, a modern shopping mall in the heart of the city. Although SouthGate initially threatened Bath's UNESCO status, completion of the recent Western Riverside Development will ultimately determine Bath's final UNESCO standing. Much like the opinions of other authors, I too believe that the city needs to strive for a balance between the past and the modern world to remain functioning. However, this issue is compromised by the insufficient existence and creation of laws meant to monitor activity by developers. Strong government involvement, in addition to public protest [...]
doi:10.7282/t31c1v0x fatcat:dqk2mk6v2banffgk3od2x4w3xy