1.         Old City of Salamanca (Spain) (C 381rev)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1988

Criteria  (i)(ii)(iv)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/381/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/381/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

ICOMOS mission March 2002

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Urban development pressure;

b) Lack of comprehensive management plan.

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/381/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2007

The State Party report submitted on 30 January 2007 in Spanish addressed the following issues:

The legal protection of the World Heritage property is based on national and regional laws for heritage protection according to which any changes to protected building or areas on the municipal level require consultation and consent of the higher hierarchy. To ensure systematic coordination, the region (Comunidad autonoma) of Castilla y Leon has set up an agreement (Convenio) with all administrative levels to create the “Castilla y Leon Cultural Heritage Commission as a corporate body with deliberation and decision-taking capacity entrusted the safekeeping of Castilla y Leon’s Cultural Heritage and called upon to ensure administrative coordination”. The main points to be taken into account by a future management plan are outlined, thus serving as terms of reference for the drafting of the management plan.

The State Party further informed that for organizational reasons the joint training and information seminar requested by the Committee to clarify the obligations under the World Heritage Convention concerning control and management of urban planning for World Heritage cities (see Decision 30 COM 7B.92) could not be held before the 31st session. It is now planned to take place in late 2007.

The State Party report provided no information about the controversial urban development projects such as the Auditorium building project at the Huerto de las Adoratrices. The building plot, which is part of the core zone of the World Heritage property, had already been excluded in 2004 from the protection of the municipal law on heritage protection (see Decision 28 COM 15B.98). This was confirmed when the project designs were presented to the World Heritage Centre during the visit of the Mayor of Salamanca on 3 October 2006. The latest information from the State Party dates back to a letter of 25 February 2005 which notes a “decision to defer the building of the Auditorium pending the approval of the new General Plan”.

According to information from Spanish NGOs, this General Plan (Plan General de Ordenacion Urbana, PGOU) was officially adopted on 23 January 2007, including the refurbishment project for the Huerto de las Adoratrices and thus legalising its implementation. However, ICOMOS has stated on several occasions that any construction at the Huerto de las Adoratrices would seriously harm the urban fabric both in terms of the building structure and the open space.

Despite the clarifications about the legal protection of heritage sites in Salamanca, the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS are unclear as to how the implementation of national and regional heritage protection legislation can be best ensured when urban planning legislation is entirely under municipal responsibility. Nevertheless, the Castilla y Leon Cultural Heritage Commission can be seen as a positive step towards a co-ordinated implementation of the heritage laws in the urban context.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM

N/A

Decision Adopted: 31 COM 7B.119

The World Heritage Committee,

1.       Having examined Document WHC-07/31.COM/7B,

2.       Recalling Decisions 29 COM 7B.86 and 30 COM 7B.92, adopted at its 29th (Durban, 2005) and its 30th (Vilnius, 2006) sessions respectively,

3.       Regrets that the State Party’s report on the state of conservation of the property was not submitted in time in one of the working languages;

4.       Notes that efforts are being made to ensure better coordination and control of the implementation of the World Heritage Convention through agreements between the responsible national, regional and local levels;

5.       Also notes the preparation of terms of reference for a future integrated management plan;

6.       Further regrets that the General Plan for Urban Development (Plan General de Ordenacion Urbana) was adopted without prior informing the World Heritage Centre and recalls the State Party’s obligations under Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;

7.       Encourages the State Party to inform the World Heritage Centre of all urban development projects in the core and buffer zone of the World Heritage property that may affect its outstanding universal value, authenticity and integrity, and urges the authorities to halt the refurbishment project at the Huerto de las Adoratrices until the results of an international consultation process are available;

8.       Requests the State Party to ensure as soon as possible the organisation of the training and information seminar on management of Spanish World Heritage cities (Decision 30 COM 7B.92);

9.       Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre an updated report by 1 February 2009 on the progress made in the implementation of the Action Plan and the seminar for examination by the Committee at its 33rd session in 2009.