1.         City of Quito (Ecuador) (C 2)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1978

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/2/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1981-1999)
Total amount approved: USD 391,800
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/2/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

March 2009: joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission; October 2013: ICOMOS advisory mission.

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/2/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2014

An ICOMOS advisory mission visited the property in October 2013. Subsequently, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report on 31 January 2014. Both reports are available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/2/documents. Environmental impact and heritage impact assessments, as well as a management plan for the property, were later submitted in March 2014 and May 2014.

Progress in a number of recommendations made by the Committee at its previous sessions is presented in these reports, as follows:

The ICOMOS advisory mission noted that the State Party did not report substantively on the “development of a single comprehensive conservation plan, with details on costs and timeframes for implementation at different heritage sectors, on the established guidelines, and criteria for interventions on the anticipated changes in use,” as previously requested by the World Heritage Committee (Decision 37 COM 7B.97).

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

The Metropolitan Institute of Heritage (IMP) completed and submitted to the World Heritage Centre the final Comprehensive Management Plan for the property on 13 May 2014, regrettably too late to allow a complete analysis to be included in this state of conservation report. The submitted Management Plan includes sections that reflect the advisory mission’s recommendations that it should require conservation of the attributes that sustain the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV), as well as a declaration of principles and the definition of intervention criteria.

Regarding the management system, the ICOMOS advisory mission suggests that the decision-making process, which is currently distributed among several agencies, be reduced in instances and participants. In view of strengthening governance of the property, it will be necessary to define the authority for implementing the Management Plan and the municipal bylaws governing the property, and to give that authority a consistent hierarchy in the organizational chart.

The Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) for the architectural ensemble of the Society of Jesus prepared in response to ICOMOS advisory mission recommendations indicates that the proposed new hotel use must assure the protection and conservation of the attributes that sustain the OUV, the authenticity, and integrity of the World Heritage property; it also acknowledges that any interventions to the reduced Bell Tower must observe the principles of reversibility and of differentiation of new components. It is recommended that the World Heritage Committee urge the State Party to continue consulting with the World Heritage Centre and Advisory Bodies during the next phases of the project, including the analysis of alternatives, with a particular focus on the interventions assessed as potentially having a negative impact.

Regarding other issues, the ICOMOS advisory mission recommends, inter alia, reviewing the location of the subway station planned for San Francisco Square, and that the projects for new urban public spaces be reconsidered in order to preserve the urban form that contributes to the property’s OUV. It further recommends that the State Party, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, inform the World Heritage Centre of any new projects within the property, and that HIAs be developed in the context of these projects, to ascertain the extent of potential impacts on the OUV of the property.

In this context, on 13 May 2014 the State Party submitted to the World Heritage Centre a Heritage Impact Assessment study for the Quito subway project’s San Francisco and Plaza del Teatro stations. Regrettably, the study was received too late to allow a complete analysis to be included in this state of conservation report. The State Party is therefore urged to continue the consultative process with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies regarding this project.

The World Heritage Committee may urge the State Party to take into account the recommendations made by the ICOMOS advisory mission regarding the management system, including the decision-making process, management responsibilities, and governance. It is recommended that the Committee urge the State Party to consider the implementation of a single comprehensive conservation plan, with details on costs and timeframes for implementation at different heritage sectors, on the established guidelines, and criteria for interventions on the anticipated changes in use.

Decision Adopted: 38 COM 7B.43

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 37 COM 7B.97, adopted at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013),
  3. Commends the State Party for preparing a comprehensive Management Plan for the property that reflects the recommendations made by the 2013 ICOMOS advisory mission;
  4. Urges the State Party to take into account the recommendations made by the 2013 ICOMOS advisory mission regarding the management system, including the decision-making process, management responsibilities, and governance;
  5. Also commends the State Party for undertaking Heritage Impact Assessments of the proposed interventions at the architectural ensemble of the Society of Jesus and of the Quito subway project’s San Francisco and Plaza del Teatro stations, in accordance with the ICOMOS Guidance on Heritage Impact Assessments for Cultural World Heritage Properties, and also urges the State Party to continue consulting with the World Heritage Centre and Advisory Bodies on these projects, including the analysis of alternatives, with a particular focus on interventions assessed as potentially having a negative impact;
  6. Reiterates its request to the State Party to consider the implementation of a single comprehensive conservation plan with details on costs and timeframes for implementation at different sectors of the property, on the established guidelines and criteria for interventions, and on changes of use;
  7. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2015, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016.