The state of Conservation report was received by the World Heritage Centre on 1 February 2011.
a) Strategic Plan for the Integral Revitalization of the Colonial City of Santo Domingo
The report indicates that the Municipality of the National District submitted a Draft Ordinance to the Municipal Council for the creation of a Special Commission for the evaluation of the draft Strategic Plan. Based on the evaluation, it is expected that the Ordinance would be approved during the first quarter 2011. A copy of the Plan and draft Ordinance were enclosed with the submitted report. The Plan includes regulatory and strategic sections with guidelines on conservation of urban and architectonic heritage, land use, building regulations, among others as well as proposals for transit related studies and improvement options, priority actions to be undertaken and description of specific projects related to environmental quality, housing, tourism, infrastructure and others.
Concerning the implementation of a Steering Committee for the preservation of the property, the report indicates that the Director Committee for the Colonial City of Santo Domingo was reactivated in July 2010. The first draft of its statutes is ready for revision by the Juridical Council Office of the Municipality. To secure the necessary resources for the operation of the management system, funds from the National District Municipality, the Ministry of Culture, and the Fund for the Protection of Santo Domingo, private donors and international organizations have been allocated. A sustainable tourism project of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) amounting to USD 30 000 000, is planned for implementation in 2012. No detailed information on this project or its terms of reference were included in the report
b) SANSOUCI development project
One of the three parts of the SANSOUCI development project (the Port) has been finalized. The 2009 reactive monitoring mission did not express concern regarding this part of the development. As for the SANSOUCI Real Estate Development Project, the State Party states that it is willing to implement the required measures to avoid inscribing the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger. It included in the report a letter from SANSOUCI Holdings, the Company in charge of the project that states its commitment to respect national regulations for the preservation of heritage as well as the World Heritage Convention. It indicates that no other proposals have or are being studied although no additional information is provided on the current status of the project or on alternative designs and technical specifications for the project as requested by the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session (Brasilia, 2010).
In relation to the future developments foreseen in the buffer zone, the report states that the North and West sectors have been developed in harmony with the Colonial City. The East Sector has currently a low density but it is expected that the SANSOUCI project will increase it. According to the Municipality of Santo Domingo East, for the moment no changes in the height regulations have been made. The regulations for this sector will be established by the Ministry of Culture and the Municipality of the Colonial City. No timeframe for these actions was indicated.
c) Other issues
With respect to the zoning regulations and interventions for the Colonial City, an Ordinance has been finalized and submitted to the Municipal Council for approval. The regulations have been adopted by the administration of the National District Municipality, in agreement with the Ministry of Culture, and are applied to all projects in the Colonial City examined by the Direction of Monumental and National Heritage. The regulations and Ordinance were attached to the report and are available on the website of the Municipality.
Regarding the approval of the proposed buffer zone, a draft resolution has been elaborated by the National District Administration and has been included in the Ordinance related to regulations of the Colonial City. The document was sent to the Municipality in July 2010, to be presented to the Municipal Council. It was indicated that the resolution could be approved during the first quarter 2011. The regulations for Gazcue area are currently being elaborated and that it has a 30% progress.
The new National Constitution was promulgated on 26 January 2010. The update of the cultural legislation for the protection, safeguarding and development of cultural heritage, including the creation of a State Secretary for Culture has started (using Law 41-00 as a base). The update will be submitted to the National Council for Culture during the first months of 2011. The protection mechanisms, in particular those related to incentives and sanctions have been included in the updating of the Law.
The report indicates that the Regulations for Archaeological Research have been submitted to the National Council of Culture for analysis and should be approved during the next session of the Council in February 2011.
Other issues included in the report concern advances in the recovery of the Santa Barbara neighbourhood, several activities described (no graphic information attached), evaluation of the state of conservation of the Santa Barbara church for its restoration, lighting of the Colonial City monuments and streets, works for the conservation of the San Carlos church, heritage diffusion programmes, conservation and capacity building for staff in charge. In addition, new interventions for housing in the Colonial City and the buffer zone has been undertaken (no photos or technical information attached). No map including the location of the mentioned projects was submitted.
According to press reports, a debate has been proposed by the Minister of Culture in regard to the pertinence of the demolition/renovation of the wall surrounding the back part of the Ozama fortress (called the Trujillo wall). The main issues are related to the fact that the wall was built during the 1940’s and that it is blocking the view to the fortress. Others claim that the wall now is part of the history of the city and has become part of its architectural ensemble.