1.         Kasbah of Algiers (Algeria) (C 565)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1992

Criteria  (ii)(v)

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/565/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1993-2002)
Total amount approved: USD 92,600
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/565/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount provided to the property: USD 100,000 for an international experts meeting on the safeguarding of the Kasbah of Algiers (Japanese funds-in-trust)

Previous monitoring missions

September 2001: World Heritage Centre Reactive Monitoring mission; from November 2007 to November 2009: Six World Heritage Centre missions financed by the State Party for the Safeguarding Plan and the issue of the metro. June 2015: World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Advisory mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/565/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2017

On 29 November 2016, a report on the state of conservation of the property was submitted by the State Party. A summary of this report is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/565/documents. This report presents a progress report on the implementation of the "plan of attack" launched in the second quarter of 2014 and a list of actions taken since the last report on the state of conservation of the property, at the beginning of 2015, as follows:

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

The report submitted by the State Party shows that it is making significant efforts to improve the state of conservation of the property and is taking the necessary measures to this end.

It should be noted that although the Wilaya was responsible for the implementation of the PPSMVSS, coordination between the many actions carried out remains the major challenge both for the effectiveness of the PPSMVSS and for the effectiveness of the system put in place. The multiplicity of institutional actors adds an additional level of complexity to the process of safeguarding the property. The intersectoral action that has been established, notably through committees, specialized subcommittees and a counselling unit, is an important step towards the effective implementation of the PPSMVSS, but it is crucial to clarify the structure and mechanisms of this action and to establish a timetable for its implementation. Legal issues relating to private law are an essential point to be addressed, and it is appropriate that a study has been launched to clarify the situation concerning the property and to find durable solutions guaranteeing the maintenance of a social and economic fabric without which the Kasbah would be emptied of its inhabitants and its urban functions. This concerns, in particular, empty plots which, besides the legal dimension, pose a major challenge in relation to the structural integrity of the Kasbah (strong slope of the terrain) and their treatment on an urban scale (reconstruction of buildings or transformation into empty areas).

The actions undertaken to renovate the electricity network, manage garbage disposal and clean up the public space are all initiatives that, while not directly affecting the heritage elements of the Kasbah, are essential to improving the state of conservation of the property as an urban entity. This underlines the necessity to approach the Kasbah not only from the patrimonial point of view but also taking into account all the urban components that compose it. This implies that the numerous operations carried out in the property can be analyzed in a global approach, on the scale of the territory of the Kasbah and the neighbouring districts. This would provide an overview of the state of conservation of the property in all its dimensions and on the basis of the relationships between the latter. To this end, the historic urban landscape approach, carried out by the 2011 UNESCO Recommendation, remains the most appropriate tool.

It is recommended that the meeting of experts on the safeguarding of the Kasbah address all key issues relating to the conservation and management of the property raised by this report, and attempt to clarify and propose improvements aimed at increasing the effectiveness of the implementation of the PPSMVSS, as well as the coordination among the participating institutions. The meeting should also provide a better understanding of the relationship between the implementation of the PPSMVSS and other projects related to the conservation of the heritage of the Kasbah of Algiers and which are currently under way.

Decision Adopted: 41 COM 7B.73

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 39 COM 7B.46, adopted at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
  3. Takes note of the continuing efforts of the State Party and its commitment to improve the management and state of conservation of the property but, noting the increasing deterioration, urges the State Party to deploy all necessary efforts to ensure the protection;
  4. Reiterates its recommendation to the State Party to adopt an integrated approach to the management and conservation of the property, focusing on the historic urban landscape to define a comprehensive framework for the effective implementation of the Permanent Plan for the Safeguarding and Valorization of the Safeguarded Sector (PPSMVSS), and the conduct of all other actions to improve the state of conservation of the property;
  5. Noting further that an expert meeting on the safeguarding of the Kasbah of Algiers will be organized before the end of 2017, strongly recommends that all the issues raised in this report on the state of conservation of the property are addressed within the framework of the approach described in paragraph 4 of the present Decision;
  6. Commends the State Party for the results of the preventive excavation carried out in connection with the proposed Place des Martyrs metro station, aimed at reconciling the imperatives of urban development with the need to preserve the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;
  7. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2017, the final report on the preventive excavation operation carried out in connection with the Place des Martyrs metro station project, for consideration by the Advisory Bodies;
  8. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2018, 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 43rd session in 2019.