1.         Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments (Russian Federation) (C 540bis)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1990

Criteria  (i)(ii)(iv)(vi)

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/540/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 2002-2002)
Total amount approved: USD 5,000
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/540/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount provided to the property: USD 18,000 from the Netherlands Funds-in-Trust 

Previous monitoring missions

February 2006: Joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS mission; January/February 2007: International Conference for Eastern and Central Europe Countries on the Application of Scientific and Technological Achievements in the Management and Preservation of Historic Cities inscribed on the World Heritage List, St Petersburg; 2009 and March 2010: World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Quality of new design projects in the inscribed zone;

b) High-rise development ;

c) Confusion over definition and extent of inscribed property and its buffer zones.

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/540/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2011

The State Party did not submit a state of conservation report which was requested by the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session (Brasilia, 2010).

a) Boundary issues

By a letter of the Commission of the Russian Federation for UNESCO dated 13 April 2011, the State Party submitted the inventory of several components of the property and informed the World Heritage Centre that an international expert forum to discuss boundary issues will be organised from 29 May to 1 June 2011. No details of the agenda have been provided at the time of drafting the report. In view of the short notice before the 35th session of World Heritage Committee, the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies note that the results of the international expert forum may not be properly communicated to the World Heritage Committee.

b) “Okhta Centre” Tower

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies also note that they did not receive any official written communication from the federal authorities regarding the status of the “Okhta Centre” Tower project. However, in a letter received on 1 February 2011, the Governor of Saint Petersburg informed the World Heritage Centre that the Municipality, taking into account the recommendations and decisions of the World Heritage Committee, has cancelled the City Government’s Decree which authorized a height of 403 meters for the site of the “Okhta Centre” Tower. It appears that this will lead to the revision of the project including its possible change of location. 

c) Statement of Outstanding Universal Value

The local authorities of Saint Petersburg have requested the national authorities by letter of 8 July 2010 to revise the draft Statement of Outstanding Universal Value of the property and also integrate the recommendations of the 2010 World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission. However, no revised Draft of the Statement of Outstanding Universal Value has been received by the World Heritage Centre, as requested by the World Heritage Committee, at the time of drafting this report.

d) Management of the property

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies note that the need to provide an overarching management framework for the property has not been addressed as requested by the World Heritage Committee at its 33rd session and reiterated at its 34th session.

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

The World Heritage Centre and Advisory Bodies note that the State Party did not provide a state of conservation report and did not address the issues raised by the World Heritage Committee at its previous sessions, in particular the lack of an appropriately defined buffer zone for all components of the property, including the Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg, the surrounding landscape and the panorama along the Neva River, as well as the lack of an appropriate management framework necessary to sustain the Outstanding Universal Value of the property. They note as well that the revision of the draft Statement of Outstanding Universal Value has not been undertaken by the national authorities.  

The World Heritage Centre and Advisory Bodies further note that the City Municipality cancelled the City Government’s Decree which authorized a height of 403 meters for the site of the “Okhta Centre” Tower, but the official position of the State Party is still unclear. The World Heritage Centre and Advisory Bodies note that there is a possibility that the project could be moved to a new location.

The World Heritage Centre and Advisory Bodies are still expecting the official position of the State Party on this project and remind the relevant national authorities that the new project proposal, as well as any new project within the property or a project having a potential visual impact on the World Heritage property, should be accompanied by a detailed heritage impact assessment, in conformity with the ICOMOS Guidance on Heritage Impact Assessments for World Heritage cultural properties. 

Decision Adopted: 35 COM 7B.104

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-11/35.COM/7B.Add,

2. Recalling Decisions 32 COM 7B.105, 33 COM 7B.118 and 34 COM 7B.95, adopted at its 32nd (Quebec City, 2008), 33rd (Seville, 2009) and 34th (Brasilia, 2010) sessions respectively,

3. Deeply regrets that the State Party did not submit a state of conservation report, as well as any boundary modification/clarification as requested by the World Heritage Committee and did not address the World Heritage Committee request to extend the buffer zone of the property;

4. Expresses its grave concern that the need to provide an overarching management framework for the property has not been addressed as requested by the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session;

5. Notes the recent information received from the State Party that it plans to organize an international expert forum in Saint Petersburg in order to discuss boundary issues, as requested by the World Heritage Committee; and requests it to submit to the World Heritage Centre all relevant information on the conclusions and outcomes of the forum;

6. Acknowledges the information regarding "Okhta Centre" Tower project including the possible revision and change of location, provided by the municipal authorities, and also regrets that the State Party has not provided an official confirmation to the World Heritage Committee;

7. Also requests that the new project proposal, as well as any new project within the property or a project having a potential visual impact on the property, should be accompanied by a Heritage Impact Assessment, in conformity with the ICOMOS Guidance on Heritage Impact Assessments for World Heritage cultural properties;

8. Further regrets that the State Party did not submit a revised draft Statement of Outstanding Universal Value as requested by the World Heritage Committee, and reiterates its request to the State Party to submit a revised draft, taking into account the recommendations of the 2010 World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission, by 1 October 2011;

9. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2012, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and on the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 36th session in 2012.