1.         Historic Quarter of the City of Colonia del Sacramento (Uruguay) (C 747)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1995

Criteria  (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/747/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1994-2009)
Total amount approved: USD 35,000
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/747/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount provided to the property: 2008 ICOMOS Technical mission financed by the Spanish Funds-in-Trust for World Heritage. USD 5076.50: 2011 WHC Technical Mission financed by the Spanish Funds-in-Trust for World Heritage

Previous monitoring missions

April 2002 and May 2004: ICOMOS reactive monitoring missions; June 2008: ICOMOS technical mission; September 2009 World Heritage Centre mission (update of the Tentative List); November 2011: World Heritage Centre technical mission for assistance in Management Planning. 

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Inappropriate architectural and urban design for a marina and hotel-casino in a building block at the old harbour;

b) Lack of a comprehensive participatory Management Plan for the Historic Quarter.

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/747/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2012

The State Party submitted a state of conservation report on the property on 1 February 2012 and also submitted the Management Plan for the property as requested by the World Heritage Committee.

The report notes the challenges that have been faced in terms of decision-making for the management of the property and how these will be addressed through the implementation of the Management Plan, particularly in regard to urban rehabilitation and its articulation with the Local Plan for Sustainable Land Use Planning and Development for the City of Colonia del Sacramento, based on Law 18308 of 2008. This is expected to address tensions between heritage conservation and social revitalization through participatory processes and through the precise definition of land use plans and guidelines for interventions. To develop these management tools, systematic surveys have been undertaken, as well as updating of architectural records dating from 2005 which are expected to improve monitoring of significant components of the property and defining of specific conservation actions or projects for rehabilitation. The Management Plan includes, in its Section 4, plans for the delineation of the historic area and its buffer zone to safeguard the historic, landscape and visual values of the property, considering a border along the coastline in all its extension. Nevertheless, the cartography submitted does not comply with the requirements and guidelines established, and the State Party is currently preparing its official submission within the framework of the Retrospective inventory process of the Periodic Reporting exercise of Latin America and the Caribbean. 

The report also notes how management arrangements will operate to improve decision making at the property to ensure the protection of attributes that sustain its Outstanding Universal Value. A bill for the creation of the Colonia del Sacramento Heritage Committee is included in the Management Plan. This entity is foreseen as an autonomous and coordinating authority to integrate and make compatible the various administrations presently responsible for the property, the local Government of Colonia, the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Commission of Cultural Heritage for the Nation and the Honorary Executive Council. They also consider models for the participation of civil society

The report also provides information on actions being implemented for the management of open spaces and natural remnants and landscapes that surround the historic city and awareness raising programmes. Until December 2011, the Plan was still at the Departmental Executive Office to be submitted to the Departmental Board of Colonia for study, assessment and official adoption.

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

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies note the progress made by the State Party in formulating a much needed Management Plan for the property. Notwithstanding that the plan can begin to be implemented through the inter-institutional agreements already in place, they consider that steps need to be taken to finalise the approval process at the national and local level in order to ensure its sustained implementation and the enforcement of the regulatory measures prescribed. The State Party is encouraged to explore securing the necessary human and financial resources for full and systematic implementation. It is important to underscore the need for articulating the developed Management Plan with the Local Plan for Sustainable Land Use Planning and Development for the City of Colonia del Sacramento to ensure harmonisation of planning tools for the property and the implementation of a coherent approach to its conservation and management.

Decision Adopted: 36 COM 7B.105

The World Heritage Committee,

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

2.   Recalling Decision 35 COM 7B.135, adopted at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011),

3.   Welcomes the development of the Management Plan for the property and requests the State Party to finalize its approval process at the national and local level;

4.   Encourages the State Party to continue its efforts in the harmonisation of planning tools for the property, in particular the articulation of the recently developed Management Plan with the Local Plan for Sustainable Land Use Planning and Development;

5.   Reiterates its invitation to the State Party to consider, within the framework of the Retrospective inventory exercise, the extension of the property and/or its buffer zone to include the "Bay and Islands of the City of Colonia del Sacramento" and to submit a proposal to the World Heritage Committee for approval;

6.   Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2014, 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 38th session in 2014.