1.         Old City of Dubrovnik (Croatia) (C 95bis)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1979

Criteria  (i)(iii)(iv)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger   1991-1998

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/95/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1985-2003)
Total amount approved: USD 142,053
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/95/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total Amount of the postwar major restoration programme co-ordinated by UNESCO: USD 80,000,000

Previous monitoring missions

November 1995: fact-finding mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/95/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2014

After receiving information from the civil society, the World Heritage Centre requested the State Party to provide clarifications on a large project in the vicinity of the World Heritage property, as well as on the progress in regulation of cruise ship tourism. On 28 January 2014, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report providing details regarding the potential impact on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property of the cruise ship tourism, as well as of the planned sport and recreation centre with golf course and tourist settlement. The State Party reported that the proposed recreational centre would cover an area of protected forest for some 359 ha on the plateau of Mount Srđ and Bosanka, situated directly above the City of Dubrovnik. The proposal includes the construction of two golf courses, a sports center, two hotels, 240 villas, 408 apartments, an amphitheater, equestrian club, parks, promenades, and other facilities. Some of the villas would be constructed at the edge of the escarpment giving them views over the old city.

The State Party informed that this project is going to be approved and that construction of apartments and golf courses is going to start. It noted that the Dubrovnik Conservation Department has determined that, after some revisions to the zones and the volumes of the center, the planned development aligns with previously issued conservation guidelines. The Urban Development plan for the City of Dubrovnik was also revised and adopted by the Dubrovnik City Council on 17 August 2013. As of January 2014, construction of the planned development had not yet started.

Regarding the large cruise ships, the State Party informed that the Ministry of Tourism plans to develop a new “Croatian Tourism Development Strategy until 2020,” which will address all relevant issues. It also informed that a tourism strategy will be a part of the property’s management plan. The State Party launched the review of a national legal framework to strengthen the legislative protection and management of World Heritage properties in Croatia.

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

The State Party did not provide information, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, of its intention to undertake or to authorize new constructions which may affect the OUV of the property.

The documents provided upon the request by the World Heritage Centre demonstrate that the large size of the development could have an irreversible impact on the property’s OUV. The development would eradicate the clear distinction that has historically existed between the urban complex of Dubrovnik, as a unique creation of medieval architecture and town planning, its landscape and rural environment setting.

The analytical documentation annexed to the state of conservation report provided by the State Party does not assess the proposed development in terms of its potential impacts on the attributes that sustain the Old City of Dubrovnik’s OUV.

It is recommended therefore that the Committee request the State Party to halt any work on the project until a comprehensive study and Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) in terms of its cumulative impact on the OUV of the property is completed for the property and its larger setting.

In terms of the impact of large cruise ships, more concrete details on the foreseen solutions to the problem associated with high tourist numbers visiting the property in a very short time (including cruise ship tourism) are needed, in particular details of precisely how the City Management Plan and the Tourism Development Strategy will address present and future tourism challenges.

Given the current situation, a reactive monitoring mission is needed to assess current conditions at the property, to consider the potential cumulative impacts (direct and indirect, including visual, physical, social, cultural and economic) of the project on OUV, as well as to review if the property is faced with threats which could have deleterious effects on its inherent characteristics and meets the criteria for its inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger in line with Paragraph 179 of the Operational Guidelines.

Decision Adopted: 38 COM 7B.25

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 22 COM VII.17, adopted at its 22nd session (Kyoto, 1998),
  3. Takes note of the information submitted by the State Party regarding the large project planned for the plateau of Mount Srđ and Bosanka in the vicinity of the World Heritage property;
  4. Requests the State Party to provide the project documentation and the respective heritage impact assessment (HIA) before any development works have started and any final decision has been taken in line with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines ;
  5. Requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission to the property to assess current conditions at the property, including the evaluation of potential development impacts and identify options for development proposals in accordance to the OUV of the property;
  6. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies the Management Plan of the property, including a tourism strategy and legal regulations of cruise ship tourism, as well as the project documentation and the respective heritage impact assessment (HIA);
  7. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2015, a progress report on the state of conservation of the property, and by 1 December 2015 a state of conservation report on the implementation of the above, both reports including a 1-page executive summary, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016.