1.         Old City of Salamanca (Spain) (C 381rev)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1988

Criteria  (i)(ii)(iv)

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/381/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/381/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

March 2002: ICOMOS mission; February 2009: joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission 

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Urban development pressure (« Huerto de las Adoratrices » project and underground parking project at the Plaza de los Bandos);

b) Lack of comprehensive management plan.

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/381/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2010

Since 2002, the World Heritage Committee has been expressing its concern on several occasions as regards the general measures taken for the conservation of the property and the lack of an comprehensive management plan, as well as some urban development projects, in particular the construction of an auditorium on the «Huerto de las Adoratrices». In January 2010, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report of Spanish properties inscribed on the World Heritage List, including the Old City of Salamanca. This report indicates the state of progress of the comprehensive management plan and provides information concerning the different urban development projects located in the protected area. It also provides information concerning the progress made following the other recommendations of the 2009 mission.

a) Management plan

A comprehensive management plan is being prepared, based on a detailed analysis of the Outstanding Universal Value of the property and upon that which is defined as « essential concepts of outstanding universal value » such as cultural identity, urban vitality and citizenship.

The plan also takes into consideration the recommendations of the 2009 mission regarding the revision of the perimetre of the inscribed property and its buffer zone, the « Special Plan » for the protection of the historic zone and improved involvement of the local authorities and other concerned parties. Currently, the chapters of the management plan relating to the analysis and the diagnositc are complete. The other chapters shall comprise proposals for the different sectors of the town as regards conservation and protection and the coherent implementation of the management plan with the general urban plan.

b) «Huerto de las Adoratrices» Project

Following the recommendation of the World Heritage Committee (Decision 26 COM 21 (b) 69), an initial project for the construction of an auditorium in the centre of the property has been abandoned. A new project for a cultural centre is proposed by the Caja Duero Bank, owner of the site. The intention is to demolish the buildings of the old convent whilst preserving the peripheral wall surrounding the garden and against which four new buildings of three levels (basement, ground floor and first floor) will be built; the central area would be partially occupied by a small auditorium.

In its 2010 report, the State Party indicates that the project has been suspended, but expresses its disagreement with the World Heritage Committee and the Advisory Bodies who had considered that the project would have a potential negative impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage property because it would affect the urban fabric and the monuments in the adjacent sector. On the contrary, the State Party considers that the very function of the project would reinforce the cultural dimension of this sector of the Old City and perceives several positive aspects for such a project, including the demolition of more recent constructions which would enhance the bordering monuments.

c) Plaza de los Bandos underground parking project

An initial underground parking project was abandonded in 1997. The new project comprises four underground levels, each level covering 2100 m2 with a total capacity of 390 places.

In its 2010 report, the State Party contests the judgement of the expert mission, based on the principle that the city must remain a vibrant entity and not a museum and therefore, it was important to facilitate the access of users and tourists to the historic centre. The underground parking project has however been suspended in respect of the decision of the World Heritage Committee.

d) Tourist facilities project in the Vaguada de la Palma area

The State Party submitted on 12th June 2009 details of the proposed tourist facilities in the Vaguada de la Palma area within the World Heritage property. This is a public open area that follows the natural course of the old Arroyo de los Milagros. The proposals are for a tourist information centre and bus station. The drawings provided show an almost flat roofed building with overhanging eaves. No environmental impact assessment has been provided for the project to assess its impact on outstanding universal value, nor a clear rationale for its justification. It is understood that local residents and others have objected to the plans on the grounds that it will intensify motorised traffic in this part of the property.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies consider that it is not possible to fully evaluate this scheme in isolation from the proposed Management Plan for the property which needs to set out an overall tourism development strategy related to transport and travel arrangements within the overall property. The scheme needs to be understood within this wider context when the appropriateness of its function, location and design could be properly considered and assessed. In the meantime, on visual and traffic grounds, the project appears undesirable in this part of this part of the property.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies acknowledge the progress accomplished in the preparation of the management plan but consider that this plan and any revision of the boundary of the property must be in accordance with an approved Statement of Outstanding Universal Value that indicates exactly the features of Outstanding Universal Value.

As regards future development proposals, in the property and its buffer zone, the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies also consider that a Statement of Outstanding Universal Value should constitute a basis for impact studies to analyse the potential impact of development proposals on the property.

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

N/A

Decision Adopted: 34 COM 7B.99

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-10/34.COM/7B,

2. Recalling Decision 33 COM 7B.122, adopted at its 33rd session (Seville, 2009),

3. Takes note of the information provided by the State Party concerning the measures taken for the development of a comprehensive management plan for the property and urges the State Party to complete this plan and to guarantee its full integration into the special plan for urban management mandated by regional legislation (2002);

4. Reiterates its request to the State Party to abandon the «Huerto de las Adoratrices» and the «Plaza de los Bandos» projects, given their potential negative impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage property;

5. Also reiterates its request to the State Party to develop, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, a draft Statement of Outstanding Universal Value for examination by the World Heritage Committee, and to ensure that this draft Statement of Outstanding Universal Value be fully taken into account in the comprehensive management plan;

6. Requests the State Party to refrain from further development of the proposed tourist facilities in the Vaguada de la Palma until the integrated Management Plan has been finalized and approved in conjunction with the Statement of Outstanding Universal Value;

7. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2012, a report on the state of conservation of the property, including a detailed report on progress achieved in the implementation of the above-mentioned recommendations, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 36th session in 2012.