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Decision : 36 COM 7B.71
Walled City of Baku with the Shirvanshah’s Palace and Maiden Tower (Azerbaijan) (C 958)

The World Heritage Committee,

1.   Having examined Document WHC-12/36.COM/7B.Add,

2.   Recalling Decision 34 COM 7B.77, adopted at its 34th session (Brasilia, 2010),

3.   Takes note of the progress made by the State Party in addressing concerns raised in prior sessions of World Heritage Committee and urges it to secure the necessary resources for the sustained operation of the management system currently in place and for the implementation of prescribed priority conservation and rehabilitation actions;

4.   Expresses its serious concern about the degradation of the setting of the property and the visual impact generated by high-rise buildings and also urges the State Party to introduce a moratorium on further construction of tall buildings until legal provisions, integrated urban policies and a survey of the urban landscape of the property have been developed and adopted to ensure the protection of the property’s surroundings;

5.   Requests the State Party to submit technical specifications of all on-going and planned new construction projects, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, to the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies for review prior to granting approval for implementation;

6.   Recommends that the State Party establish a Technical Review Committee, including representatives from all stakeholders, to review all major development proposals that could adversely impact on the Outstanding Universal Value, and to propose planning controls and policies;

7.   Notes the results of the February 2012 reactive monitoring mission and encourages the State Party to implement its recommendations, with particular emphasis on:

a)  Ensuring closer cooperation between State Historical-Architectural Reserve “Icherisheher” (SHAHAR) and the Greater Baku Planning and collaboration in the formulation of integrated urban policies,

b)  Implementation of Heritage Impact Assessments prior to the approval of projects within the property and its buffer zone,

c)  Development of a guidance manual for maintenance of historic buildings,

d)  Prioritisation of the implementation of research and conservation of urban elements set out in the Integrated Area Management Plan (IAMAP) and the rehabilitation action plan for urban residential quarters prescribed in the Conservation Master Plan (CMP),

e)  Strengthening the implementation of the living city approach policy by providing financial and administrative support to maintain inhabitants within the Walled City,

f)   Expanding representation on the Council of Elders to ensure larger participation and transparency in decision-making processes;

8.   Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2014, a report on the state of conservation of the property and on the steps taken to implement the recommendations set out above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 38th session in 2014.

Themes: Conservation
States Parties: Azerbaijan
Year: 2012
Decision Code: 36 COM 7B.71