The State Party submitted a 2009/2010 state of conservation report which provides information on thirteen construction and development projects and an additional eight restoration projects being undertaken in 2009 and early 2010. The report did not include a detailed progress report on the implementation of the recommendations of the May 2009 World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission, as requested by the Committee at its 33rd session.
a) New Constructions and Developments with the property
The construction projects mentioned in the report include the following, some of which such as the Cathedral and the bridge, have already been completed:
1. Museum and Exhibition Complex with engineering infrastructure at Volga Embankment near house #32v (project listed as suspended)
2. Cultural and Entertainment Centre with engineering infrastructure at 3 Pervomayskaya Street (project listed as suspended)
3. Hotel with engineering infrastructure at 4 Pervomaysky Lane
4. Administrative Building and Residential House with engineering infrastructure at 12 Tereshkova Street
5. Construction (reconstitution) of Cathedral of Assumption with engineering infrastructure at Peace Boulevard
6. Residential house with offices, underground car parking and engineering infrastructure at Tereshkova Street in the vicinity of house #29a
7. Construction of 3-4-storey residential house with car parking and engineering infrastructure at Respublikanskaya Street in vicinity of house #47
8. Multi-storey car parking with engineering infrastructure with café, maintenance shop, car wash in the block at Bolshaya Oktaybrskaya Street, Mukomolny Lane, Kotorsl Embankment, Respublikanskaya Street
9. Hotel with engineering infrastructure at 9 Kooperativnaya Street
10. Multi-storey residential house with engineering infrastructure at October Avenue in the vicinity of house #5
11. Reconstruction of residential house with superstructure above carport for gym with amenity rooms and offices at 22 Sobinov Street (construction is not carried out)
12. Construction of Junction and Reinforced Concrete Bridge across Kotorosl River with Engineering Infrastructure
13. Yaroslavl Millennium Monument
Information provided includes photographs of the sites in question; elevations and or architectural renderings of the proposed construction (but not within its larger urban context), the name of the developer, and the approval status of the project in regard to the various Russian planning authorities and the “Russian World Heritage Committee”.
The report also notes that one of the main reconstruction areas is the Volga embankment area. Work to be undertaken includes the construction of a recreation area, the addition of a “fountain zone”, the redevelopment and landscaping of the entire area, and the construction of the already-mentioned Yaroslavl Millennium Monument. The report also describes a project for the enhancement of transport including the above-mentioned bridge across the Kotorosl River and the construction of a “new modern transport junction”.
The documentation provided, however, does not include any detailed project documents, any analysis of the projects within their larger context, nor any cultural heritage impact assessments for the major new constructions/urban developments mentioned in the report,, in terms of their impact on Outstanding Universal Value. In its report, the State Party notes that historic, town-planning and landscape analyses were implemented prior to the “area reconstruction,” without providing any details of those analyses.
In regard to the Cathedral of the Assumption, the State Party underlined that its reconstruction has a particular importance for reconstruction of historic appearance of the central part of Yaroslavl, and that the Cathedral’s skyline is one of the organizing verticals in the historic city panorama. The report states that areas near the cathedral will also be subject to reconstruction and redevelopment.
In March 2011, the World Heritage Centre received further information from civil society groups that the two level bridge across the Kotorosl River had been completed and that a further development project along the Kotorosl river bank is in the process of implementation. This information also stated that a hotel had been constructed instead of the historical park, and that more than ten other new constructions were underway within the boundary of the Historical Centre of the City of Yaroslavl and its buffer zone.
In April 2011, the State Party submitted to the World Heritage Centre project documents for a five-star Hotel planned in the vicinity of the Cathedral of Assumption and a number of other historic buildings in the central part of the World Heritage property, which is under review by the Advisory Bodies.
In regard to the management of the property, the State Party report does not contain any information in regard to the overall management system and legal protection for the property. Neither is there information on how planning permissions are granted or how coordination is carried out between stakeholders and authorities at different levels, as requested during the 2009 joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS mission. The State Party has reported that the Russian World Heritage Committee has been empowered by the State Party as the official national coordination centre for conservation and management of World Heritage properties in the Russian Federation. The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Body remained concerned however, that while the Russian World Heritage Committee reviews and makes recommendations on major development projects, that these projects are not being submitted to the World Heritage Centre in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines.
On 21 April 2011, the World Heritage Centre formally requested the State Party by letter and during a meeting with national authorities that any consideration, review and recommendations for implementation of projects, if issued by the Russian National World Heritage Committee or its Departments, should include a clear notice indicating that they do not imply or replace, in any way, the review by the World Heritage Committee, as required by the Operational Guidelines.
Furthermore, the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies express concern that the State Party report did not provide any updated information on the first stage of the implementation of a general development strategy for city planning until 2030 within the framework of the Urban Master Plan for Yaroslavl established in 2006, nor the regulatory act regarding the conservation area of the property initiated in 2008.
On 3 May 2011, the World Heritage Centre reiterated its concern to the State Party about the lack of information in response to the Committee’s decision adopted at its 33rd session, and in particular information related to the management system and regulatory frameworks. Thee State Party was requested to provide this information as a matter of urgency.