Historical Centre of the City of Yaroslavl (Russian Federation) (C 1170)
Year of inscription on the World Heritage List 2005
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/1170/documents/
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 9,348
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1170/assistance/
UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds
Previous monitoring missions
May 2009, February 2012: joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring missions; October 2014: ICOMOS Advisory mission
Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports
- Gradual changes to the urban fabric: construction and restoration projects
- Inappropriate urban development
- Major changes to the property’s skyline through the construction of the new Cathedral of the Assumption
- High rise projects
- Lack of appropriate management system
Illustrative material see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1170/
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2016
On 23 December 2015, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property, available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1170/documents/. It provides information on the following:
- Legal regulations: Updated information regarding legislative and regulatory protection for the property and its buffer zone has been provided and concerns the Order of the Ministry of Culture passed in December 2014, specifying requirements and restrictions in support of the preservation of the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property. With regard to town planning activities, further amendments to the rules for land use and development in the city of Yaroslavl and the Yaroslavl territorial zoning layout is planned for 2016. A further substantial amendment to the Federal Law was passed in October 2014, improving the protection of cultural heritage through, among others, requirements for conservation, strengthened authority of the Federal protection agency, greater role of the local and regional protection bodies, and enhanced supervisory function of the state over conservation of monuments. Regulations of protection zones of cultural heritage sites were passed by Decree of the Government of Russia in September 2015.
- Management Plan: The State Party informs that improvements to the management system are required and that the Management Plan will be developed taking into account the recommendations by the Committee and the previous reactive monitoring and advisory missions. Furthermore, the Department of Cultural Heritage Site Protection of the Yaroslavl region was established in 2015, while the Ministry of Culture has the overall responsibility for protection and conservation measures.
- Construction projects: Requirements for Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) have been established since November 2014. Construction works are determined according to the Master Plan, land-use and development rules. Further improvements to the legal regulations are planned.
- Bell Tower of the Cathedral of the Assumption: Presently regulations within the World Heritage property permit reconstructions of ruinous churches. While the project was originally presented and approved in 2007, the Bell Tower lies within the authority of the Yaroslavl Diocese which to date has not applied for a construction permit.
- Traffic management: Limitations imposed on town-planning within the World Heritage property include also restrictions on transportation, vehicular traffic and urban infrastructure development.
Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM
While the State Party has made some improvements with regard to the strengthened legislation and steps are being taken to develop the Management Plan, insufficient regulations and the lack of a comprehensive management system remain of concern. It is not apparent to what extent the revised regulations on urban development and infrastructure relate to the OUV of the property and how these regulations are implemented in the absence of an appropriate Management Plan.
Despite the repeated requests by the Committee, detailed information on the development and construction projects within the property and its buffer zone, or HIA of existing development proposal have not been provided by the State Party. In December 2014, information was received by the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS from the civil society concerning a number of construction and infrastructure development projects within the property and its buffer zone. In terms of scale, height and mass, these future projects, specifically in the vicinity of the river Kotorosl, pose a threat to the OUV of the property inscribed for its importance in architecture, town planning and spatial relationships between buildings. It further confirms the concerns expressed by the Committee at its 38th session (Doha, 2014) and, the findings of the 2012 Reactive Monitoring and 2014 ICOMOS Advisory missions. On 19 December 2014, information received was transmitted to the State Party for comments in conformity with paragraph 174 of the Operational Guidelines. Therefore, it is recommended that the Committee reiterate its request to the State Party to further elaborate, regulations and rules considering the OUV of the property.
Restrictions on land use and developments within the property and strict limits to development rights should be included, and should apply to development and building projects which were already approved within the existing Urban Master Plan. In this sense, the ICOMOS Advisory mission to Yaroslavl in October 2014 provided essential guidance for the development of the Management Plan and highlighted the need to revise the Urban Master Plan in order to effectively preserve the World Heritage property and its buffer zone, through, among others, specific legislation on historic monuments, architectural and urban morphology regulations.
Conservation measures and archaeological research are carried out according to the current management system and the prevailing policy. However, there is current regulation which permits the reconstruction of ruinous monuments. Therefore, the State Party should refrain from reconstructing any monuments until a conservation strategy, in parallel with the Management Pan, is developed to guide conservation measures and ensure an approach and methodology that is appropriate to the World Heritage status of the property.
Decision Adopted: 40 COM 7B.57
The World Heritage Committee,
- Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7B,
- Recalling Decision 38 COM 7B.31, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
- Acknowledges the steps taken by the State Party to improve the protection of the property through strengthened legislation and regulations;
- Expresses its concern about the continuing inappropriate construction and infrastructure development projects within the property and its buffer zone, which threaten the authenticity and integrity of the property, and urges the State Party to:
- Further elaborate, as a matter of urgency, regulations and rules that take into consideration the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property and its buffer zone,
- Restrict land use and developments within the property, with particular emphasis on the establishment of no-construction zones and strict limits to development rights,
- Review and revise the Urban Master Plan, with attention to developments in the buffer zone and the zone of the Kotorosl river, in order to ensure visual integrity of the property;
- Recommends that the urban dimension of the property be fully reflected in the policies, measures and tools adopted to ensure the conservation of the latter; using if necessary the approach carried by the Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape (2011);
- Encourages the State Party to commence a participatory process for the development of the management structure and to submit a Management Plan for the property to the World Heritage Centre by 1 December 2017, for review by the Advisory Bodies;
- Also encourages the State Party to revise the current regulations allowing reconstruction of ruinous monuments and to develop a Conservation Strategy, in parallel with the Management Plan, to guide conservation measures and ensure an approach and methodology that is appropriate to the World Heritage values;
- Strongly reiterates its request to the State Party to submit, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, details of any proposed developments, including those reported as still awaiting implementation, such as the new bypass road, bridges and traffic interchanges around the property, that may have an adverse impact on the OUV of the property, accompanied by Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs);
- Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2017, 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 42nd session in 2018.