1.         Walled City of Baku with the Shirvanshah's Palace and Maiden Tower (Azerbaijan) (C 958)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2000

Criteria  (iv)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    2003-2009

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/958/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1998-1998)
Total amount approved: USD 15,000
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/958/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount provided to the property: USD 30,000 (American Funds Special Account, 2005/06); USD 22,000 (Netherlands Funds-in-Trust, 2005/06) 

Previous monitoring missions

February 2002: UNESCO mission; October 2002: UNESCO/ICOMOS mission; January 2003 and April 2003: UNESCO missions; November 2003: ICCROM mission; October 2004: UNESCO mission to participate in the Round Table; September 2005: UNESCO mission (with the University of Minnesota, USA); March 2007 and January 2009: joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS missions. 

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/958/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2014

The State Party submitted a state of conservation report on 6 January 2014, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/958/documents/. The report provides information on measures implemented in response to the decisions of the World Heritage Committee as follows:

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

The information provided by the State Party regarding the implementation of measures to improve the management, conservation and protection of the property is well noted. Notwithstanding this progress, the visual qualities and skyline of the setting of the property have been impacted due to the number of high-rise buildings.  Although a moratorium is currently in place for high-rise construction, it is crucial that other urban development activities within the buffer zone and wider setting, which can hinder the ability of the property to convey its OUV, be controlled.

It should also be underscored that no information was provided on actions foreseen to address the impact, in relation to character and volume, of new constructions, or elevation and transformation of historical buildings within the property. The adoption of the Greater Baku Regional Development Plan and other regulatory measures needs to be prioritised and strict control and enforcement is required to ensure that no further alterations to architectural and urban planning coherence, as well as impacts to the authenticity of the property in relation to location and setting, occur as a result of inadequate interventions. The information provided by the State Party regarding a moratorium on further construction of tall buildings in the surroundings of the property is welcomed.

It is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to introduce a moratorium on further construction, elevation and inappropriate transformation of historical buildings within the property.

In regard to further construction and infrastructure development in the buffer zone of the property and its wider setting, integrating HIAs and visual studies on proposals will be crucial to prevent the erosion of the attributes of the property and of its conditions of authenticity and integrity. These requirements should be included in regulatory provisions for the property, its buffer zone and wider setting. The State Party should give consideration to the recommendation on Historic Urban Landscapes in the review of planning and management tools.

Finally, considering the conservation work carried out, it is recommended that these actions extend to other areas so that the decay of the urban fabric in general is addressed.  It is also crucial that a strong policy is enforced to promote maintenance and good conservation practice and to prioritise rehabilitation of the building stock.

Decision Adopted: 38 COM 7B.23

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 36 COM 7B.71, adopted at its 36th session (Saint-Petersburg, 2012),
  3. Takes note of the actions undertaken by the State Party to improve the conservation and management of the property and urges it to finalize the approval process for recently developed management and planning tools to ensure their effective implementation;
  4. Encourages the State Party to sustain its conservation and protection efforts with particular attention to the following:
    1. Formulate and adopt guidance for a consistent conservation and maintenance approach to the building stock within the property to ensure that fabric decay is adequately addressed and urban planning coherence is maintained,
    2. Actively encourage the rehabilitation of decayed buildings through incentives to strengthen conservation of historic buildings and support a living city approach,
    3. In accordance with the legislative framework, examine options for the removal of illegal constructions within the property and for alternatives to mitigate the impacts, in relation to character and volume, of existing new constructions and/or elevation or transformation of historical buildings,
    4. Strictly enforce regulatory measures in the buffer zone, giving consideration to defining a larger protection zone for the wider setting of the property to avoid further erosion of its visual qualities and to enhance protection,
    5. Continue the work of the Technical Review Committee to review projects for intervention and enforce planning controls and clear procedures for approval of proposals,
    6. Consider the integration of the Historic Urban Landscape approach for the definition/updating of planning tools for the property, its buffer zone and wider setting;
  5. Also urges the State Party to strengthen the effective implementation of the moratorium on further construction, elevation and inappropriate transformation of historical buildings within the property;
  6. Requests the State Party to continue, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines , to inform the World Heritage Centre about planned projects within the buffer zone and wider setting of the property and to submit technical details, including Heritage Impact Assessments, for projects being considered for approval;
  7. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre by 1 December 2015 a report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and on the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016.

Decision Adopted: 38 COM 8E

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/8E,
  2. Congratulates the 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-14/38.COM/8E, for the following World Heritage properties:
ASIA AND THE PACIFIC:

    EUROPE AND NORTH AMERICA:

    LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARRIBBEANS:

    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.  Takes note that the World Heritage Centre is in the process of harmonising all sub-headings in the adopted Statements of Outstanding Universal Value and, as appropriate, reflects name changes of World Heritage properties throughout the text of the Statements as requested by the Committee at its 37th session, and requests the World Heritage Centre to also update the size of the property and/or its buffer zone, as appropriate, following subsequent Decisions of the World Heritage Committee concerning Minor Boundary Modifications.
    7.  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 the two language versions on its website.