1.         Budapest, including the Banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter and Andrássy Avenue (Hungary) (C 400bis)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1987

Criteria  (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/400/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/400/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount provided: 800 million HUF (ca. 2.7 million EUR) EU support for the “Street of Culture” project 

Previous monitoring missions

March 2005: World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS advisory mission; November 2007: ICOMOS advisory mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/400/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2013

The State Party submitted a state of conservation report on 30 January 2013 as requested by the World Heritage Committee Decision 35 COM 7B.95. A joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission was invited by the State Party, and visited the property from 25 February to 1 March 2013. The mission’s report of April 2013, while concluding that the general state of conservation of the property is satisfactory and its value maintained, adds important information to the State Party’s report; its main recommendations pertain to institutional co-ordination and protective regulation. The mission report is available online at the following web address:

http://whc.unesco.org/en/sessions/37COM/documents/.

a)  Legislation and Management of the Property

The State Party reports that its new World Heritage legislation, Act LXXVII on World Heritage, came into force on 1 January 2012. It further reports that a Government Decree 315/2011 (XII.27), which took effect on 1 January 2012, regulates the preparation of World Heritage Management Plans.  The new Law requires the publication of management plans as governmental decrees ensuring their legal status.

The report provides detailed information about the reorganisation of the institutions concerned with protection of Hungary’s national heritage. Nationally, three governmental ministries (Interior, Human Resources and Public Administration and Justice) have responsibilities for different aspects of World Heritage properties, while in Budapest protection is regulated by two regional agencies overseen by an appeals mechanism administered by the Budapest Metropolitan Government. The Management Plan for the property is now in preparation and the body responsible for the management has been appointed.

The mission report notes the State Party’s legislative and regulatory innovations but concludes that, prior to the development and implementation of the Management Plan and legal approval of the new regulations, the existing administrative system for the building permits could jeopardise the urban fabric of the whole World Heritage area. It recommends the following urgent measures: no new construction should be allowed nor permits granted in this interim period; and there should be established appropriate restrictive regulations, clear and transparent procedures and monitoring for application by the local governments of the ‘Governmental Decree 314/2012’, which took effect on 1 January 2013, and in particular the establishment of rules for concluding agreements with partners (a Partnership Plan), prior to making town development or regulatory plans, in order to prevent serious deterioration of architectural and urban coherence. 

b)  Demolition and New Development

The State Party reports that there have been no demolitions nor permits issued in the ‘Jewish quarter’ during the reporting period. No significant construction has occurred but two major proposals on Dob Street have attracted significant opposition. No.19 comprised the restoration of the street front, as well as raising the courtyard roof level and replacing the courtyard wing with a new four storey building for shops and apartments. The permit was upheld after appeal but is now suspended under judicial review. No.21 had a permit for development of the ruinous building into a youth hostel supplemented by commercial and entertainment facilities. The permit was not upheld on appeal; this too is under judicial review. The work of historic rehabilitation of the two properties is underway and demolition, research and excavation will be officially supervised.

21 Klauzal Street has a permit for rehabilitation with the construction of an additional storey on the courtyard wing and renovation of properties in Gozsdu Courtyard and Inner Erzsebetvaros have been undertaken, while several listed historic buildings have been converted into pubs. At 10 Dohany Street and 8-10 Sip Street, permitted demolition has been completed but street frontages retained. After the collapse of the upper storey of 10 Sip Street, the authorities have imposed a requirement to rebuild.

The planned demolition in Becsi Street was initially reduced in scale from five to three buildings, but permits for the latter three were refused. Thus, there is no permit for any demolition or construction associated with this proposed development.

The joint mission report notes the above, but states that despite the withdrawal of the proposed plans for demolition at Becsi Street, the deteriorating condition of the buildings continues to give grave concern. They consider that merely withdrawing schemes of demolition does little to protect this area and suggest that neglect by owners is sometimes a deliberate plan to make collapse, and thus, redevelopment, inevitable.

c)  Street of Culture

This programme of conservation in Kazinczy Street, aided with European Union resources, was completed in 2012 and comprised the renovation of the orthodox synagogue, the Electrical Technology Museum and two further buildings as well as the facade of the Eotvos Lorand University. Traffic enhancement and reduction in public spaces and streetscapes was undertaken.

d)  Further Developments within the World Heritage property and Buffer Zone 

The State Party report mentions that planning for a new Budapest Museum Park bordering on Heroes’ Square and City Park in the buffer zone is at preliminary concept design stage and detailed information will be sent to the World Heritage Centre as it becomes available. The report also appends details of four projects that affect the property, which had been submitted to the World Heritage Centre in August 2012, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines. The State Party suggests that the restoration of the Royal Castle Garden Pavilions, rearrangements in Kossuth Square to better reflect the original architectural concept and provide better access, parking and information, a new Museum Park and restructuring at Szechenyi square to reduce traffic and enhance access will serve to increase the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property.

The mission recommends that further details should be sent to the World Heritage Centre, including Heritage Impact Assessments, to support the Royal Garden project; and studies of soils, geology and hydrology to underpin the Kossuth Square and Parliament Visitor Centre project. The projects are of a scale that could have an adverse impact upon the OUV of the property if not carefully designed and evaluated.

e)  Enlargement and Revision of the property buffer zone

The State Party reports that enlargement of the buffer zone should be considered during the process of preparation of the Management Plan.

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

The State Party has responded to all the matters raised by the World Heritage Committee and has supplied welcome and detailed information about the new legislative and regulatory framework for the protection of this property and the other World Heritage properties in Hungary. It is noted that progress is now being made on the management plan and management structure during which process the proposed enlargement of the buffer zone will be considered and submitted in due course. The control of inappropriate development in the property and buffer zone has led to the withdrawal of various proposals, especially that in Becsi Street, and the State Party has given notice of proposed new developments as required by Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines.

 

The reactive monitoring mission concurred with the above but recommended urgent measures to protect the property from inappropriate development before the management plan and detailed regulation and monitoring procedures are in place. The mission remains concerned by the deteriorating condition of some historic buildings in the property. 

Decision Adopted: 37 COM 7B.76

The World Heritage Committee,

1.  Having examined Document WHC-13/37.COM/7B.Add,

2.  Recalling Decision 35 COM 7B.95 , adopted at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011),

3.  Notes the recent withdrawal of demolition and development schemes in the Jewish quarter and Becsi Street but notes with concern the deteriorating condition of existing historic buildings;

4.  Welcomes the new World Heritage legislation that took effect on 1 January 2012, and the statutory underpinning of World Heritage management plans;

5.  Also notes the reorganization and enhancement of administration of World Heritage properties protection both at the national and at the municipal level;

6.  Encourages the State Party to continue the work of preparation of the management plan and management structure for the property and its buffer zone, and the proposed enlargement of the buffer zone;

7.  Requests the State Party to implement the recommendations of the joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission by establishing stringent controls over applications for new development within the property and buffer zone;

8.  Further notes the details of proposed developments in the property and also requests the State Party to supply the World Heritage Centre with details of the Royal Garden project, detailed reports concerning soils, geology and hydrology in order to underpin the project at Kossuth Square; and details of the proposed new Museum Park as soon as design work is completed, with Heritage Impact Assessments, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines ;

9.  Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2015, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session in 2015. 

Decision Adopted: 37 COM 8E

The World Heritage Committee,

1.  Having examined Documents WHC-13/37.COM/8E and WHC-13/37.COM/8E.Add,

2.  Congratulates States Parties for the excellent work accomplished in the elaboration of retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value for World Heritage properties in their territories;

3.  Adopts the retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value, as presented in the Annex of Document WHC-13/37.COM/8E, for the following World Heritage properties:

4.  Decides that retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value for World Heritage properties in Danger will be reviewed by the Advisory Bodies in priority;

5.  Further decides that, considering the high number of retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value to be examined, the order in which they will be reviewed by the Advisory Bodies will follow the Second Cycle of Periodic Reporting, namely:

6.  Requests the World Heritage Centre to harmonise all sub-headings in the adopted Statements of Outstanding Universal Value where appropriate and when resources and staff time allow to carry out this work;

7.  Also requests the State Parties, Advisory Bodies and World Heritage Centre to ensure the use of gender-neutral language in the Statements proposed for adoption to the World Heritage Committee;

8.  Further requests the World Heritage Centre to keep the adopted Statements in line with subsequent decisions by the World Heritage Committee concerning name changes of World Heritage properties, and to reflect them throughout the text of the Statements, in consultation with States Parties and Advisory Bodies;

9.  Finally requests the States Parties to provide support to the World Heritage Centre for translation of the adopted Statements of Outstanding Universal Value into English or French respectively, and finally requests the Centre to upload these onto its web-pages.