1.         Historic Centre of Mexico City and Xochimilco (Mexico) (C 412)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1987

Criteria  (ii)(iii)(iv)(v)

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/412/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1999-1999)
Total amount approved: USD 5,000
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/412/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions

November 2002: ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/412/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2003

The ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission, carried out from 23 to 29 November 2002, had as objective to review existing legal provisions, administrative aspects of site management and recent studies and actions undertaken. For the natural and urban areas of Xochimilco, the following important studies and actions have been undertaken for the conservation and management of the site. For the natural area, including the mountains, floating gardens (chinampas) and agricultural zone (ejidos), the study “Leading Management Program for a Protected Natural Area Classified as Ecological Conservation Zone known as Ejidos of Xochimilco and San Gregorio Atlapulco” updated a 1999 study, to find the means and make effective the 1992 Declaration of Protected Natural Area (PNA) “Ejidos of Xochimilco and San Gregorio Atlapulco”. It was updated by the Institute of Ecology (INECOL) upon request of the Secretary of the Environment: Natural Resources Commission (CORENA), with the objective to provide the Government of the Federal District with the elements to orchestrate and render operational the existing Declaration and thereby the protection, conservation and restoration of ecosystems in the Protected Natural Area.

The study “General Guidelines for the Management Plan of World Cultural and Natural Heritage” of 1999-2000 was commissioned by UNESCO and prepared for a request for technical support to determine the criteria that would justify extending or changing the current designation of Xochimilco as a cultural site to a cultural landscape by incorporating the chinampas (floating gardens) and canals area. The study involved a comprehensive and participative review of the various problems encountered in Xochimilco and defined priorities essential for strategic planning of actions aimed at solving those problems, based upon review of available bibliography, interviews and workshops.

For the urban area, a “Comprehensive Strategic Project for the Historic Centre of Xochimilco, 2000-2003” was developed by the Delegation of Xochimilco that involved five programmes, including recovery of the landscape and intangible heritage (maintenance and improvement works), road and transportation network (relocation of bus lines, signage and street adjustments), public safety and crime prevention (co-ordination between police and neighbourhood committees, video monitoring system), economic and cultural development (cultural tourism promotion, new handicrafts activities) and reorganization of commercial establishments on public roads. Until now, 40 MM Mex Pesos have been invested in works in the Historic Centre, comprising 5% of the general budget.

Within the framework of the 30th Anniversary of the World Heritage Convention, the Declaration of 2002 as the International Year for Cultural Heritage and the 15th Anniversary of the designation of Xochimilco as World Heritage, and under the auspices of the UNESCO and FAO Offices in Mexico, the Xochimilco Unit of the Autonomous Metropolitan University, in co-operation with several government agencies of the Federal District, organized the First Seminar on the Full Recovery of Xochimilco World Cultural Heritage which took place on 11 and 12 November 2002. Its objectives were to involve international institutions, the Federal government and the Federal District’s government in the preparation of a Master Plan for the Rehabilitation of Xochimilco, to obtain legal provisions and funds from the government, and establish mechanisms for community participation in the design and implementation of this Master Plan. The seminar established a general agreement on the need to prepare a Master Plan on an inter-institutional and multidisciplinary basis, and within this to review the boundaries of the current World Heritage designation in order to include all natural and cultural sites, and create a World Heritage citizens council with representatives from Mexico City and Xochimilco for the protection of tangible and intangible heritage, also through the establishment of an information centre.

The mission’s recommendations include a review of the site’s inscription as a cultural property to consider designation as a cultural landscape, for which the preparation of a comprehensive Master Plan as agreed upon during the First Seminar on the Full Recovery of Xochimilco, constitutes an important step. The UNESCO Office in Mexico should actively participate in the establishment of this Master Plan, most notably as facilitator during negotiations on conflicting interests. Information received from the UNESCO Mexico Office at the Secretariat on 31 March 2003 involved a funds-in-trust proposal of the Municipality of Xochimilco that is currently under consideration for establishment at the UNESCO Mexico Office, in which US$ 200,000 is being reserved to “Implement a project for the participatory formulation of a comprehensive rehabilitation plan for Xochimilco”.

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


Decision Adopted: 27 COM 7B.95

The World Heritage Committee [57],

1. Having taken note of the November 2002 ICOMOS mission findings and recommendations,;

2. Commends the authorities for their efforts to increase the protection and conservation of the property;

3. Notes with appreciation that a seminar on the recovery of the property was organized under the auspices of UNESCO and of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO);

4. Strongly supports the current initiative to co-ordinate and manage the conservation process through the design and implementation of a comprehensive Master Plan that includes management strategies and reviews the property's characteristics in relation to its boundaries to include the natural environment, the historic urban heritage and the living culture of the territory and community of Xochimilco;

5. Requests the State Party and ICOMOS to consult with IUCN on the plans available for the conservation and effective management of Natural Areas and Ecological Zones and determine the best options available for modifying the boundaries of the area in a manner that would ensure the protection of the natural environment of the heritage property;

6. Encourages the State Party to do its utmost to facilitate this initiative and cooperate with all relevant institutions and organizations in this process; most notably with the local community of Xochimilco;

7. Requests the State Party to continue working in close consultation with ICOMOS and UNESCO;

8. Requests that the State Party submit a detailed report to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2005 on the progress made with the design, adoption and implementation of the Master Plan in order that World Heritage Committee can examine the state of conservation of the property at its 29th session in 2005.

[57]  Decision adopted following written amendments proposed by the State Party.