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Guide to good practices in landscape-residential areas 1950-75, Basque country (Spain) 

The "Guide to good practices in landscape-residential areas 1950-75" aims to help public administrations and technical teams improve the quality of life in residential areas built between 1950-75. It utilises the Landscape Diagnosis and HUL approach to identify current challenges and offer examples of regeneration and urban rehabilitation required by these residential areas.

About the Basque country

The Basque Country is an Autonomous Community located in northern Spain. It has three provinces, Álava, Biscay and Gipuzkoa, and three province capitals, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Bilbao and Donostia-San Sebastian. The Autonomous Community has a total population of 2.186.517 inhabitants (EUSTAT, 2022). So, we are shedding light on a territory with a very high population density, 302,21 hab./km2, especially in capital cities and areas that have experienced the migratory industrialisation boom during the second half of the 20th century (EUSTAT (Basque Statistics Office), Population data (2022)).

The choice of the study areas during the research work has culminated in the Guide. Also, pressures exerted by migratory movements in different parts of the Basque territory at the beginning of the second half of the 20th century have been principally considered. It has been verified that many of the large municipalities with more than ten thousand inhabitants, capitals, regional districts, and provincial capitals were the places that absorbed most of the immigration. Thus, a significant urban expansion is mainly due to industrialisation. These areas responded to the prevailing overall housing demand and generated an urban planning scheme and building models replicated throughout the territory.  

With the selected areas for the study, the goal is to establish different diagnosis models that can be representative when facing landscape restoration in urban developments with similar characteristics. For this reason, attention has been paid to the following cases because of their typological characterisation in the period between the 50s and 80s of the last century: 


It is an industrial town with almost forty thousand inhabitants -39.520 (EUSTAT, 2022)- with principally uneven topography (hillside) urban development. It serves as an example to analyse the actions and the urban development planning that took place in most of the industrial towns of Gipuzkoa that historically had a relatively good urban balance. Within the municipality, we can find various examples of residential developments, from the first post-war working-class neighbourhoods to the polygons in the neighbouring peripheral areas, whose growth on uneven slopes occurred, deteriorating the quality of the urban space.

Plan of delimitation of the areas of study in the municipality of Errenteria. Case study: Alaberga, Galtzaraborda, Kaputxinoak, Beraun, Pontika. Source: Guide to good practices in landscape-residential areas 1950-75 (Translated from Spanish) @ López Urbaneja, Aida; Azpeitia Santander, Arturo; Lalana Encinas, Laura; Maraña Saavedra, Maider; Zelaia Arroyabe, Zuriñe; Azpiroz Zabala, Victoria; Erquicia Olaciregui, Jesús María.Based on MTN-25, sheet 64-II. 


It stands out as the capital of the province of Alava and the Autonomous Community; it has a population of 242.836 inhabitants and is an example of urban development in flat terrain (a plain landform).

It shows us the specific evolution of an urban space on which its spatial planning growth has always been emphasised. The insertion of the expansion model and the new developments into the urban fabric, generating a residential peripheral model throughout the state, is addressed.

Delimitation plan of the areas of study in the municipality of Vitoria-Gasteiz. Case study: Coronación, Zaramaga, El Pilar and Aranbizkarra. Source: Guide to good practices in landscape-residential areas 1950-75 (Translated from Spanish) © López Urbaneja, Aida; Azpeitia Santander, Arturo; Lalana Encinas, Laura; Maraña Saavedra, Maider; Zelaia Arroyabe, Zuriñe; Azpiroz Zabala, Victoria; Erquicia Olaciregui, Jesús María. Based on MTN-25, sheets 112-III and 112-IV.


It stands out as a country seat that welcomed a large part of the industrialisation phenomenon of the time and a clear example of development on an uneven topography (rugged hillside). It is the most populated city in the Autonomous Community nowadays, with a population of 340.355 inhabitants.

The peripheral residential developments of Bilbao, unlike Vitoria-Gasteiz, were developed in a rural area far from the urban centre, whose rugged hillside was one of the key factors that formulated both the layout of the housing blocks and the residual way of adapting urban space and tr transitional roads.

Delimitation plan of the study areas in the municipality of Bilbao. Case study: Otxarkoaga and Txurdinaga. Source: Guide to good practices in landscape-residential areas 1950-75 (Translated from Spanish)
© López Urbaneja, Aida; Azpeitia Santander, Arturo; Lalana Encinas, Laura; Maraña Saavedra, Maider; Zelaia A. rroyabe, Zuriñe; Azpiroz Zabala, Victoria; Erquicia Olaciregui, Jesús María. Based on MTN-25, sheets 61-II and 61-IV.

Guide to good practices in landscape- residential areas 1950-75

© López Urbaneja, Aida; Azpeitia Santander, Arturo; Lalana Encinas, Laura; Maraña Saavedra, Maider; Zelaia Arroyabe, Zuriñe; Azpiroz Zabala, Victoria; Erquicia Olaciregui, Jesús María.

Pre-project scenario and challenges

In today's city, the urban setting is distributed in a plurality of networks articulated through relational and multiple spaces that define the contemporary urban sphere as a clear example of a complex system. Any intervention in any of its parts requires a comprehensive and transversal approach that covers all territorial scales. At the same time, it is essential always to maintain the focus of the intervention centred on the human scale, considering that it ultimately seeks to ensure and improve the quality of life of its inhabitants.

For this reason, facing the renovation needs of contemporary residential urban developments, diagnosing interventions requires rethinking traditional approaches and developing new methodological strategies that comprehensively encompass the obsolescence processes that affect them.

The Florence European Landscape Convention (Council of Europe, 2000) was a key to an international consensus on the importance of landscape as a factor directly impacting the population's quality of life. Society demands more attention to new values that give visibility and underline the sense of latent identity in the "ORDINARY LANDSCAPE". This landscape is nourished by everyday elements and buildings, without a unique, singular value, which make up a landscape far removed from the traditional aesthetic principles, and which is characteristic of the residential urban developments of the contemporary city.

Goals of the project

To promote a Landscape improvement of the residential developments of the second half of the 20th century, stopping their degradation and adapting them to the current standards of comfort and quality of life., The following goals are promoted through the project:

I. Offer guidelines to order and integrate the values of the landscape 

The guidelines and the criteria needed for landscape regeneration and revitalisation in residential developments from the second half of the 20th century must address multiple areas and scales of inclusion. This Guide is intended to offer a reference that, in an orderly manner, can serve as a model in the face of the dispersed range of casuistry that must be faced in a comprehensive intervention.

II. Offer integration proposals that prioritise the functional and ecological continuity of the landscape 

The proposals for ecosystem improvements focus on the delimitation and organisation of the building and urban elements under the study with the transversality offered by the concept of landscape, in its not only the visual perception but also functional. It is about balancing environmental quality and the internal functional aspects of the residential complexes and the municipalities in which they are located.

III. Promote the understanding of forms of design close to the sustainable and natural balance of the system 

The proposals for economic containment and intervention, close to the sustainable and natural balance of the system, do not imply high costs in terms of maintenance or landscape impacts. For this, the understanding is provided on forms of sustainable design that must be implemented in the place's regeneration, revitalisation, restoration, rehabilitation and/or expansion.

IV. Update living and comfort standards to improve people's conditions and quality of life

The enhancement of the quality of life, health and well-being of people is meant to guarantee the prevalence of neighbourhoods and to reflect and seek strategic solutions that recover the value of the environment. To this end, intervention guidelines are proposed in consolidated residential developments through proposals on public space and buildings to update and improve facilities, services and conditions concerning habitability, safety, accessibility and energy efficiency, among others.

V. Promote governance strategies that serve as a reference

The proposals for the involvement of local social agents work when moving from a general diagnosis to the definition of specific application policies. The participatory promotion of landscape improvement is formulated to transcend from what "is known to do" at a technical level to what "must be done" on a human scale by strengthening the right of the population as a whole, also diverse and unique for each place, to enjoy a quality landscape daily and guarantee a social use.

Singular façade of buildings in the neighbourhood of Alaberga (Errenteria) © López Urbaneja, Aida; Azpeitia Santander, Arturo; Lalana Encinas, Laura; Maraña Saavedra, Maider; Zelaia Arroyabe, Zuriñe; Azpiroz Zabala, Victoria; Erquicia Olaciregui, Jesús María.
Brick buildings in the neighbourhood of Zaramaga (Vitoria-Gasteiz) © López Urbaneja, Aida; Azpeitia Santander, Arturo; Lalana Encinas, Laura; Maraña Saavedra, Maider; Zelaia Arroyabe, Zuriñe; Azpiroz Zabala, Victoria; Erquicia Olaciregui, Jesús María.
Blocks and towers in height in the neighbourhood of Otxarkoaga (Bilbao) © López Urbaneja, Aida; Azpeitia Santander, Arturo; Lalana Encinas, Laura; Maraña Saavedra, Maider; Zelaia Arroyabe, Zuriñe; Azpiroz Zabala, Victoria; Erquicia Olaciregui, Jesús María.

Phases of the project-methodology:

To achieve more precise knowledge that allows analysing of the current situation and to determine the opportunities for improvement of the residential housing developments generated during the second half of the 20th century, we have defined a series of indicators and objective criteria to make an adequate landscape diagnosis, proposing comprehensive improvement proposals to be developed in each case.

The methodology has been based on the scale of the building unit while maintaining the importance of the neighbourhood's location and the interrelation between public space and the provision of facilities, basic elements for the development of daily life. For this, the standards of well-being and quality of life that currently govern have been considered, not those that prevailed in the decades of their respective developments.

The sequence of the study has been articulated in three phases of analysis endowed with the necessary flexibility to obtain the information required when carrying out a comprehensive landscape improvement:

1. Indicators to determine the type of residential development each neighbourhood belongs to. When dealing with the characterisation of the housing complexes under analysis, as can be seen in Table 1a, we use descriptive indicators grouped into three thematic areas (1-development and localisation, 2-relief and environment, and 3-singularities), which have served to drive the different features and determine the typologies of residential development they belong to. The three thematic areas are broken down into categories and indicators (table 1b) that will measure parameters with a transversal scope. Any landscape diagnosis involves a comprehensive and systemic approach to the concept of the landscape itself. Therefore, the categories proposed in this Guide must be understood as permeable to each other.

Thematic area  Synthesis 
Development and localisation
  • Its purpose is to analyse the evolution of the different residential complexes based on the growth of the locality in which they are located. The objective is to verify how projects, originally detached from the surrounding urban setting or not, have been recognised, sometimes placing themselves as areas of great centrality or if they continue to form isolated settlements (as satellites) concerning the rest of the urban structure.
Relief and environment
  • Geomorphological relief has determined, in all cases, the development of the neighbourhoods. The objective is to evaluate this factor's impacts on the urban fabric's design and its implications for generating a unique urban landscape in each case, determining a network of roads, and creating free spaces that accommodate the development of daily life.
  • The objective is to highlight the most perceptive and qualitative elements representing an essential and identifiable singularity in each residential urban landscape. In many cases, it is about features that make up the ordinary landscape of the other residential developments. The enhancement of these residential developments helps to stop the different processes of obsolescence.

Table 1a. Thematic areas with features and elements are considered when characterising the housing complexes. Source: Guide to Good Practices in Landscape-Residential Areas 1950-75 (Translated from Spanish) © López Urbaneja, Aida; Azpeitia Santander, Arturo; Lalana Encinas, Laura; Maraña Saavedra, Maider; Zelaia Arroyabe, Zuriñe; Azpiroz Zabala, Victoria; Erquicia Olaciregui, Jesús María.

Categories Indicators
Development and localisation Distribution of residential developments in the territory of the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country (ACBC).
  • Location of the residential development, in an industrial town, in a county seat and/or provincial capital.
Urban development of residential estate in the municipal location
  • Situation and relationship concerning the historic centre and/or urban expansion: central, having been included over time into the urban fabric, or peripheral location, close to rural and/or industrial areas.
  • Influence of pre-existing urban axes on both building and open space development.
Generation to which residential developments belong to
  • Development period, i.e. 1st, generation in the post-war period (1950-1960) or 2nd generation (1960-1980).
Relief and environment Geomorphological relief is key and determining element when designing urban fabric.
  • Layout of contour lines and landforms on which the residential complex is located (hillside, plain or valley).
The environment is understood as public spaces and public-private transition spaces that comprise interstitial community areas between buildings.
  • Conformation of open spaces (type of spaces, dimensions, relationship concerning buildings and roads, area allocated to green spaces and distribution (homogeneity or zoning), existence of public furniture and lighting, etc.).
Road structure, whose network generates a particular layout in each case.
  • General street conditions (type of street, ratio between street height and width).
  •  Distribution and morphology of the parking areas (dimensions, surface and/or roof materiality).
Singularities Characteristic and unique elements of the location. More perceptive and qualitative elements represent each location's essential and identifiable singularity.
  • Characteristic and unique elements of the location. More perceptive and qualitative elements represent each location's essential and identifiable singularity.
  •  Urban image (elements or buildings of unique character, points or visual references, volumes and proportions of buildings, preservation of the original aesthetics and composition of buildings, integration of cladding, harmonious materials or colouring, etc.).
  • Cultural heritage (tangible or intangible cultural values, whether listed or not. This includes architectural elements characteristic of an era, typological singularities, innovation in construction techniques, spaces or elements with a particular social significance and/or influx of visitors, important dates, etc.).
  • Urban green infrastructure (vegetation or singular elements, areas with special significance due to their size or location, particular characteristics of the location ecosystem, plant components in the buildings, streams (dug or not), water lamination areas, etc.).
  • Liveability and comfort conditions (state of conservation of buildings, unique accessibility solutions, quality of the programme of housing needs, lighting and ventilation requirements, structures with energy renovations, regeneration, revitalisation or rehabilitation projects carried out or underway, incorporation of ICTs, provision of facilities and general urban services).
  • Provision, distribution and typology of uses and services in the neighbourhood, life and use of the ground floors of the buildings.Population characteristics (per capita income, population data disaggregated by sex and age, presence of migrants from different origins, the population's age distribution, the environment used according to social groups and age diversity, differentiated requirements, etc.).

Table 1b. Categories and indicators that measure the cross-cutting landscape parameters for characterising housing estates. Source: Guide to Good Practices in Landscape-Residential Areas 1950-75 (Translated from Spanish) © López Urbaneja, Aida; Azpeitia Santander, Arturo; Lalana Encinas, Laura; Maraña Saavedra, Maider; Zelaia Arroyabe, Zuriñe; Azpiroz Zabala, Victoria; Erquicia Olaciregui, Jesús María.

2. Criteria to evaluate the predominant problems based on the current well-being standards and quality of life. These criteria consider the heterogeneity of the factors that affect the current obsolescence of those neighbourhoods built in the era of developmentalism in Spain -responding to a great demand for housing-but that currently needs to be looked at with different perspectives. Each evaluation criteria breaks down into elements as a checklist (Presented in Table 2, the example of Visual and Perceptual Criteria - there are also comfort and energy efficiency, Universal accessibility, Functional quality and social inclusion, Sustainable and healthy mobility, and Socioecological connectivity criteria-) whose identification is necessary to determine the main problems.

Visual and perceptual criteria 
Criteria  To be identified  Scope of evaluation 
Building unit  Neighbourhood
Is the urban scene of the neighbourhood in line with the idiosyncratic landscape of the location?

Buildings generate a high visual impact due to the size of the volumes built.


Buildings that are not coherent in the proportions of their façade openings and massifs' composition.


Buildings that do not maintain chromatic and/or material harmony in the façade elements and topcoats (enclosures, carpentry and shutters, etc.).


Interventions on the façade which alter the original volume of the building (closure of balconies, external lifts, access ramps, trellises, etc.) and/or the interpretation of the building as a whole.

close close

Elements of various kinds which alter the external appearance of the building to a greater or lesser extent (awnings, external clotheslines, planters, advertising, signage, boilers on balconies or terraces, satellite dishes, lattices in poor condition, etc.).


Installations are visible from the façade (electricity and telephony, gas, meters, kitchen and boiler flues, rainwater drainpipes, etc.).


Illegal occupation or out-of-order elements (closure of balconies, terraces in attics, etc.).


Ground floors of buildings in disuse or in a poor state of repair (partial use, no use or non-existence of premises).

close close

Ground floor designs that do not harmonise in their compositional integration due to the colour scheme and/or materiality used.


Areas where the prevalence of private motor vehicle parking (either in rows or parking pockets) generates a significant visual impact on the surface.


Areas where grey infrastructure generates a scenic backdrop of high visual impact.


Areas with high noise and/or odour pollution.


Areas where elements of public furniture or installations generate a high impact, such as waste collection facilities.


Elements of public furniture in poor condition or deteriorated.


Elements of street furniture with an obsolete or wrong use (solitary pergolas, etc.).


Elements with special social significance in poor condition or deteriorated.


Table 2. Criteria for evaluating the predominant problems in residential developments in the second half of the 20th century in the Basque Autonomous Community (BAC): Visual and perceptive criteria. Source: Guide to Good Practices in Landscape-Residential Areas 1950-75 (Translated from Spanish). © López Urbaneja, Aida; Azpeitia Santander, Arturo; Lalana Encinas, Laura; Maraña Saavedra, Maider; Zelaia Arroyabe, Zuriñe; Azpiroz Zabala, Victoria; Erquicia Olaciregui, Jesús María.

3. Comprehensive improvement proposals to achieve quality objectives in landscaping. Landscape quality objectives have been defined (presented in Table 3, the example of Management and Intervention objectives -there are also Protection objectives-), broken down into different horizons and, consequently, other agents that would have to act. The main scale addressed is the local one, at the neighbourhood level through urban planning and regulations, promoting specific regeneration, rehabilitation and integration interventions. Still, the general strategy must be approached at the territorial scale to allow those objectives to be integrated and reinforced.

Management and interventions objectives 
Objectives Elements to be considered 

Comprehensive improvement proposals

Regulating the development of the building stock  Existing building 
  • Regulation through the "Ordenanzas de Edificación y Urbanización" (Law 2/2006) of the landscape adaptation of façade and roof alterations design of various kinds that can be undertaken for purposes such as the removal of architectural barriers that make access to buildings difficult for people with functional diversity, the replacement of harmful materials with eco-materials in the envelope, new enclosures, the insertion of elements for insulation, the installation of aerials, passive operation or energy use, or landscaped roofs, among others.

Regulating the adequacy and harmonisation of actions


New building

  • To corroborate the suitability of new buildings whose possible impact on pre-existing building singularities must be avoided as far as possible. To this end, it is proposed to regulate these (in terms of volume, shape, materials, colours and textures) through Urbanistic Regulations, which will consider the topographical adjustment to avoid new landmark-like positions.


Uses and activities

  • Regulation through the Urban Development Regulations of integrating design interventions on ground floors (signage, uses and transitory elements) to guarantee the improvement and maintenance of the urban landscape.

 Regulating urban development and urban spatial planning

Street furniture, luminaires, signage and advertising

  • Regulation through urban planning regulations of the street design furniture, lighting, signage and advertising (and any other element of a similar nature) following the idiosyncrasy of the landscape of the place and adapted both visually and functionally to the needs of all users of the public space.

Infrastructure and functional elements

  • The design of new infrastructures and functional elements (lifts, ramps/mechanical stairs, containers or recycling areas, etc.) that need to be installed in the urban space to develop the same are regulated through urban planning regulations.

Urban voids

  • Promoting landscape integration measures that generate specific interventions for urban regeneration, sewing and landscape integration in empty or disused spaces, façade openings or residual areas to strengthen neighbourhood interaction.


  • Promote conditioning covers existing aerial or aerial cabling and network installations on the façade.

Public roads

  • Encouragement of landscape integration actions to reverse overdevelopment and the high density and surface distribution of vehicles to achieve an improved balance between rigid pavements and vegetation cover.
  • Promoting road traffic control measures to humanise residential neighbourhoods, aiming to reduce traffic capacity in favour of greater pedestrianisation.
  • Promote conditioning actions to correct discontinuities in pedestrian and cycle routes (paving, tree surrounds, elements that encroach on the path, unevenness, etc.) to ensure continuity between facilities, basic services, interconnection points on public transport and the main areas of collective use.
  • Promote the consolidation of a network of ecological itineraries and nodes to ensure the functionality of the urban green infrastructure on a neighbourhood scale.

Table 3. Landscape quality objectives to be achieved in residential developments in the second half of the 20th century in the Basque Autonomous Community: Objectives of planning and intervention. Source: Guide to Good Practices in Landscape-Residential Areas 1950-75 (Translated from Spanish) © López Urbaneja, Aida; Azpeitia Santander, Arturo; Lalana Encinas, Laura; Maraña Saavedra, Maider; Zelaia Arroyabe, Zuriñe; Azpiroz Zabala, Victoria; Erquicia Olaciregui, Jesús María.

Research team

The work has been developed by a multidisciplinary team composed of environmentalists, historians and architects. It should be noticed that the elaboration of individual chapters has been avoided so that in each section, different people contributed to enrich the work of each other. The result is that individual contributions are not differentiated in written and graphic content, but content created as a team is offered. For this, it has been essential that the entire multidisciplinary team carried out fieldwork and thus was able to develop both the descriptive section of the cases, the landscape diagnosis methodology and the proposals for improvements. 

The coordination carried out by one person, in this case, Aida Lopez Urbaneja, -landscape planning and management specialist - has been essential. The different contributions have been collected by the coordinator, who has ensured that the entire published work has meaning and traceability even though different specialists contributed.  

There have been some issues essentially developed by specialists, as in the case of Arturo Azpeitia Santander- a heritage specialist; Maider Maraña Saavedra - responsible for the analysis of social data in the neighbourhoods; Laura Lalana Encinas, who has carried out the analysis of geospatial data; Zuriñe Zelaia Arroyabe – expert in building rehabilitation; and the coordinator Aida Lopez Urbaneja – a specialist in green infrastructure, gender perspective and social issues. 

In addition to the research team from the UNESCO Chair on Cultural Landscapes and Heritage - in charge of developing the published work -, it is worth noting the technical direction whose responsibility was the Department of Territorial Planning, Housing and Transport of Basque Government, especially from the architect's Victoria Azpiroz Zabala and Jesús María Erquicia Olaciregui, who reviewed the work and proposed the specific conclusions section. 

Collaborative context 

One of the objectives set by the UNESCO Chair on Cultural Landscapes and Heritage of the UPV/EHU in its founding agreement is that it focuses on supporting the Department of Territorial Planning, Housing and Transport of the Basque Government. This collaboration between entities (Government and University) has been given to develop new tools that establish Landscape improvement and regeneration criteria for particular areas.

Both entities, in their contributive-ly harmony, support each other to continue promoting planning and management policies regarding landscape. New forms of co-learning and co-production between different types of actors (in this case, the public), which provide a collaborative framework for a constructive and effective dialogue between science, management and society, which mainly contributes to supporting urban regeneration processes and achieving Sustainable Development Goals (UN, 2015). 


The content of the Guide (characterisation of the residential urban landscape, diagnosis methodology, examples of practical cases and proposals for improvement) is intended to serve as a reference in the context of landscape improvement based on current quality and well-being standards. The recommendation is that those sections can be adapted to other realities from other countries if they are talking about residential neighbourhoods from the second half of the 20th century.  


It is still early to know the result of the practical application of the Guide since it was published a few months ago. The important thing is that the research team is now carrying out (post-publication) a participatory approach to the different agents of interest to offer them the document and provide them with technical knowledge and perception to understand the needs required by residential neighbourhoods. It is a peak moment since financial measures are currently in force that can help communities develop the improvements established in the Guide. With that purpose, a public presentation has already been made in which municipalities and urban rehabilitation societies have participated. Likewise, it will conduct technical walks and talks in the areas of interest shortly with the communities, municipal technicians and politicians.


  1. Guía de buenas prácticas en materia de paisaje. Desarrollos residenciales 1950-1975”, the publication is part of "Heritage, Territory and Landscape." collection edited by the University of the Basque Country; López Urbaneja, Aida; Azpeitia Santander, Arturo; Lalana Encinas, Laura; Maraña Saavedra, Maider; Zelaia Arroyabe, Zuriñe; Azpiroz Zabala, Victoria; Erquicia Olaciregui, Jesús María, 2021 (Ed. 2022).  
  2. EUSTAT (Basque Statistics Office). (2022). Population data (2022). 
  3. Council of Europe. (2000). The European Landscape Convention (Florence, 2000)
  4. UN. (2015) THE 17 GOALS | Sustainable Development.

Contribution towards global goals

How does this case study contribute to the global commitments to sustainable development and heritage conservation?

© Thierry llansades, CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0, via Wikimedia

Contribution towards Sustainable Development

The initiative aims to contribute towards Sustainable Development by addressing the following Sustainable Development Goals:

Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

  • Target 11.2: the initiative aims to enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanisation by learning from and documenting traditional living environments.

  • Target 11.3: The initiative aims to enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanisation and capacity for participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management by valuing the participatory processes of diagnosis but also the implementation of initiatives that improve the neighbourhoods under study.

  • Target 11.7: The initiative aims to provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible green and public spaces by offering universal accessibility measures considering the different groups that inhabit the neighbourhoods, working on a human scale.

Contribution towards the implementation of the 2011 Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape

The project aims to contribute to the implementation of the Historic Urban Landscape approach by:

  • Creating a tool to identify the challenges faced by architecture and neighbourhoods from the second half of the 20th century in the Basque Country.
  • Analysing the physical and social characteristics of the residential area, including its layout, building materials, and social structure.
  • Proposing examples of integrating residential areas into the wider urban context that enhances their historical, cultural, social and environmental significance to meet the needs of local communities.
  • Ensuring guidelines for the monitoring, management and evaluation framework to improve the quality of life in residential areas.
  • Provide technical knowledge to different types of stakeholders and urban rehabilitation communities about multidisciplinary actions involved in regeneration, restoration and urban rehabilitation that enhance the liveability and sustainability of the residential areas.
  • Establishing a partnership between the municipality and the university to promote planning and management policies in terms of landscape.
  • Facilitating a collaborative framework between science, management and society that could contribute to engaging a local community in the preservation and urban regeneration processes.

Historic Urban Landscape Tools

Civic engagement tools  Knowledge and Planning tools Participation

Note: the described potential impacts of the projects are only indicative and based on submitted and available information. UNESCO does not endorse the specific initiatives nor ratify their positive impact.

Learn more

Discover more about the case study and the stakeholders involved. 

© Maria Giovanna Colli, CC-BY-2.0, via Flicker

To learn more


Aida López Urbaneja, Coordinator at the UNESCO Chair on Cultural Landscapes and Heritage of the University of the Basque Country (Spain).

© UNESCO, 2023. Project team: Jyoti Hosagrahar, Alba Zamarbide, Carlota Marijuán Rodríguez, Altynay Dyussekova, and Mirna Ashraf Ali with the collaboration of Aida López Urbaneja.

Note: The cases shared in this platform address heritage protection practices in World Heritage sites and beyond. Items showcased on this website do not entail any recognition or inclusion in the World Heritage list or any of its thematic programmes. The practices shared are not assessed in any way by the World Heritage Centre or presented here as model practices, nor do they represent complete solutions to heritage management problems. The views expressed by experts and site managers are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the World Heritage Centre. The practices and views shared here are included to provide insights and expand the dialogue on heritage conservation to further urban heritage management practice in general.

Decisions / Resolutions (4)
Code: 44COM 7.2

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7,
  2. Recalling Decisions 40 COM 7, 41 COM 7, 42 COM 7, 43 COM 7.2 and 43 COM 7.3, adopted at its 40th (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016), 41st (Krakow, 2017), 42nd (Manama, 2018) and 43rd (Baku, 2019) sessions respectively,

Emergency situations resulting from conflicts

  1. Deplores the loss of human life and the degradation of humanitarian conditions resulting from the prevailing conflict situations in several countries, and continues to express its utmost concern at the devastating damage sustained and the continuing threats facing cultural and natural heritage in regions of armed conflict;
  2. Urges again all parties associated with conflicts to refrain from any action that would cause further damage to cultural and natural heritage, including their use for military purposes, and also urges States Parties to fulfil their obligations under international law by taking all possible measures to protect such heritage, in particular the safeguarding of World Heritage properties and sites included in Tentative Lists;
  3. Reiterates its utmost concern about the continuing threats of wildlife poaching and illegal trafficking of wildlife and timber products linked to impacts of armed conflict and organized crime, which is eroding the biodiversity and Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of many World Heritage properties around the world, and further urges States Parties to take the necessary measures to curb this problem, including through the implementation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES);
  4. Also reiterates its utmost concern at the increase in illicit trafficking of cultural objects, resulting from armed conflicts, and appeals to all States Parties to cooperate in the fight against these threats, and for cultural heritage protection in general, including through the ratification of the 1970 Convention and the 1954 Convention and its two Protocols, as well as the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions 2199 (2015), 2253 (2015) and 2347 (2017);
  5. Reiterates its call upon the international community to further support the safeguarding of the cultural and natural heritage of countries affected by conflict, through earmarked funds or through contributions to the UNESCO Heritage Emergency Fund;

Recovery and Reconstruction

  1. Welcomes the continued reflection on recovery and reconstruction and the broad dissemination of the Warsaw Recommendation in multiple languages as a basis for further reflections and also welcomes the dedicated webpage established by the World Heritage Centre;
  2. Expresses its gratitude to the Polish authorities for the organization of the webinar “The invincible city: Society in cultural heritage recovery” in October 2020 and to the Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage (ARC-WH) for the “Conference on heritage reconstruction - its economic, social, and psychological aspects in the process of post-trauma recovery” (Bahrain, March 2021);
  3. Takes note of the various resources already published and in the process of publication;
  4. Noting the value of accurate pre-existing documentation in the recovery of built and other heritage following destruction, strongly encourages the States Parties and all other stakeholders of the Convention to stimulate the documentation of heritage structures, including through cutting-edge digital technologies, to create databases of documentation for future reference;

Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework

  1. Notes with utmost concern the results of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, which shows that nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history and that no significant progress has been achieved on most of the 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets, and encourages the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to adopt an ambitious post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF), which can bring about the transformative change needed to halt the loss in biodiversity;
  2. Considers that the post-2020 GBF should provide a common framework for all Biodiversity-related Conventions and build on the strengths of each convention, and strongly encourages the Parties of CBD to take into account the recommendations of the expert meeting “Harnessing the power of World Heritage for a better future: World Heritage and the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework” in the post-2020 GBF to recognize and better integrate the contribution of the World Heritage Convention to global biodiversity conservation;
  3. Requests the World Heritage Centre and IUCN to continue to engage with the preparatory process of the post-2020 GBF, in order to advance consideration of the World Heritage Convention;
  4. Also requests the States Parties to ensure that there is effective liaison between the respective national focal points for the CBD and the World Heritage Convention, to ensure that considerations relevant for the Convention are integrated in the GBF, and that the contributions of natural and cultural World Heritage properties, sites on national Tentative Lists, and other internationally designated sites are fully integrated and supported within National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plans (NBSAPs);
  5. Further requests the World Heritage Centre and IUCN to report back at its 46th session, with recommended policies and actions to support the adopted post-2020 GBF be taken into account in the processes of the World Heritage Convention;
  6. Requests furthermore the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies to consider how the relevance of these proposals for mixed, cultural landscapes and other relevant cultural World Heritage properties, including those cultural properties that overlap with Key Biodiversity Areas, might contribute to the anticipated Joint Programme of Work on the Links between Biological and Cultural Diversity to ensure further integration of nature and culture in the post-2020 GBF and to help achieve its vision of living in harmony with nature by 2050, and report to its 46th session on the approved Programme and how the World Heritage Convention can contribute to its implementation;
  7. Takes note of the need for additional funding to be provided to support the achievement of biodiversity goals within World Heritage properties, in order to address their contribution to the GBF, and invites the Conference of the Parties of the CBD, in accordance with its decision XIII/21, to take these resourcing needs into account in formulating strategic guidance for the eight replenishment of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Trust Fund and other international finance mechanisms to support the GBF, considering all elements provided in Section II.C of Document WHC/21/44.COM/7;

Buffer zones

  1. Noting that a number of World Heritage properties lack formal buffer zones, in particular those on the List of World Heritage in Danger, reaffirms the increasing importance of effective buffer zones to support the protection and management of Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) and building greater resilience of properties to external threats,
  2. Recalling Decision 32 COM 7.1 and the 2008 expert workshop on World Heritage and Buffer Zones with its specific recommendations to improve guidance, enhance capacity and refine the Operational Guidelines concerning buffer zones,
  3. Urges States Parties, with the support of the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, to:
    1. Incorporate well-designed buffer zones based on a holistic understanding of natural as well as human induced factors affecting the property, supported by reinforcing relevant legal, policy, awareness and incentive mechanisms, into new nominations and where appropriate into existing properties to ensure enhanced protection of World Heritage properties,
    2. Place particular emphasis on strategic environmental assessment and impact assessments for potential projects within buffer zones to avoid, negative impacts on OUV from developments and activities in these zones,
    3. Develop buffer zone protection and management regimes that optimize the capture and sharing of benefits to communities to support the aspirations of the 2015 Policy for the integration of a Sustainable Development Perspective into the processes of the World Heritage Convention,
    4. Ensure buffer zones are supported by appropriate protection and management regimes in line with the property’s OUV, that build connectivity with the wider setting in cultural, environmental and landscape terms;
  4. Encourages the States Parties, the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, through extra-budgetary support, to revisit and update the recommendations arising from the 2008 expert workshop to enhance capacity through the development of best practice guidelines for designing, establishing, protecting and managing World Heritage buffer zones;

“No-Go” commitment

  1. Welcomes the continued efforts of the World Heritage Centre, IUCN and other partners to expand the “No-go” commitment to other extractive companies, the banking and insurance sector, the hydropower industry and other relevant companies, commends ENGIE and bp for subscribing to the commitment, and takes note of the initial commitment of Eni, noting the need to strengthen it in order to meet the requests made in previous Committee decisions;
  2. Reiterates its request to all relevant private and public sector companies to integrate into their sustainability policies, provisions for ensuring that they are not financing or implementing projects that may negatively impact World Heritage properties and that the companies they are investing in subscribe to the “No-go” commitment, and invites these companies to lodge their adopted policies with the UNESCO World Heritage Centre;
  3. Also welcomes the global insurance industry Statement of commitment to protect the Outstanding Universal Value of World Heritage properties, developed with the UNEP Finance Initiative Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI), also commends the 17 major insurance companies and other supporting institutions of the insurance sector that have so far adhered to the Statement and invites other insurance companies to do so;
  4. Further welcomes the guidance provided by the International Finance Cooperation (IFC) of the World Bank on Performance Standard 6 on Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Management of Living Natural Resources that investment projects in natural and mixed World Heritage properties will not be acceptable for financing, with the possible exception of projects specifically designed to contribute to the conservation of the area;
  5. Acknowledges with appreciation the financial support of the Government of Flanders (Belgium) for this work and reiterates its request to the World Heritage Centre, in cooperation with the Advisory Bodies, to continue the fruitful dialogue with extractive industries the hydropower industry and other industries, the banking, insurance and investment sector, in line with its Decision 40 COM 7;

Fire: impacts and management

  1. Acknowledging the extensive damage of fires to natural and cultural World Heritage properties since 2019, and the growing threat of forest and bushfires to certain natural properties and their cultural values, including as a result of climate change impacts,
  2. Requests States Parties to implement best practice fire management strategies to ensure the protection and management of Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) including, where appropriate, to:
    1. Prepare site-level fire vulnerability and risk assessments, mitigation, Risk Preparedness, response and recovery plans in the event of potential severe fire impacts on heritage values,
    2. Incorporate fire research, monitoring of impact, emergency response and mitigation and preparedness measures into management decisions,
    3. Work with stakeholders to raise awareness on fire risks among communities and build greater capacity to respond and recover following fires,
    4. Consider customised approaches and strategies that reflect the characteristics and circumstances of naturally and anthropogenically generated fires,
    5. Explore the potential of new technologies for application in fire managing strategies, including monitoring, and firefighting systems, that will not have negative impact on OUV of the properties,
    6. Take strong actions to address human-induced climate change in line with global United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) commitments;

Urban pressures on cultural World Heritage properties

  1. Notes that the pressures on historic urban areas arising from inappropriate or inconsistent development controls, rapid, uncontrolled and planned development, including large development projects, additions that are incompatible in their volume, mass tourism, as well as the accumulated impact of incremental changes have continued within numerous World Heritage properties and in their buffer zones and settings, and considers that these present potential and actual major threats to the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of properties, including their integrity and authenticity, as well as increasing their vulnerability to disasters, including those resulting from climate change;
  2. Also notes the unrelenting pressures of urbanization and urban development in recent years, the essential contribution of local communities, and the consequent need to support sustainable, compatible, and inclusive livelihoods for local communities and embed stakeholder engagement in management systems and processes, with a view to seeking solutions to protecting heritage in the framework of sustainable urban development to counter and manage the impacts of this ever-present threat;
  3. Notes with appreciation the outcomes of the International Workshop on Historic Urban Contexts in Fukuoka, Japan, in January 2020 (Fukuoka Outcomes) as well as the World Heritage City Lab in June 2020 that proposed several useful recommendations;
  4. Calls on States Parties to implement the 2011 UNESCO Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape (HUL) in World Heritage properties with urban characteristics, in particular, following the methodology and recommendations of the Fukuoka Outcomes and the World Heritage City Lab, and use the opportunity of the 10th anniversary of the HUL Recommendation in 2021 to support key actions to implement the HUL Recommendation also in line with the 2030 Agenda and the New Urban Agenda;
  5. Stresses the importance of carrying out Heritage Impact Assessments to evaluate and thereby avoid or manage potential threats to the OUV of the property arising from new urban development projects;
  6. Also emphasizes the need to enhance resilience and recovery of World Heritage properties in urban areas vulnerable to climate change related impacts, in line with the HUL Recommendation and the World Heritage City Lab outcomes, while also enhancing the livability of the properties and their surrounding for their inhabitants;

Heritage Impact Assessments / Environmental Impact Assessments

  1. Welcomes the new Guidance and Toolkit for Impact Assessment in a World Heritage context through collaboration between the Advisory Bodies and the World Heritage Centre, and thanks the State Party of Norway for supporting this work through the ICCROM-IUCN World Heritage Leadership Programme;
  2. Requests States Parties to carry out subsequent Environmental Impact Assessment/Heritage Impact Assessment in line with the new guidance;
  3. Calls upon States Parties and organizations to provide additional funding and support for compiling the guidance on Strategic Environmental Assessment and support other capacity building activities on impact assessments;

Conservation of fabric, skills and traditional and contemporary technologies

  1. Recognizes that repair after disasters as well as continued maintenance over time of the integrity and authenticity of the fabric that contributes to the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of cultural and mixed World Heritage properties require specific and specialist skills-sets and crafts, knowledge sets and systems often based in cultural-specific technologies developed over many generations;
  2. Notes that the challenges encountered in the maintenance and restoration of the physical fabric of cultural and mixed World Heritage properties often arise from the lack of appropriate knowledge and skills among craftspeople, as well as a lack of appropriate historically developed and utilised materials;
  3. Encourages the States Parties and all other stakeholders of the Convention to:
    1. Stimulate existing (and develop new) research programmes on traditional methods, technologies and materials, and encourage (and, where necessary support) the intergenerational transmission of traditional and contemporary restoration and maintenance skills, and also embed these in management systems, thereby supporting viable professions for the maintenance of physical human-made attributes that contribute to the OUV of cultural and mixed World Heritage properties,
    2. Facilitate the development of innovative bespoke technical approaches that enable the long-term sustainable physical conservation of significant fabric, where traditional practices can no longer address changing circumstance,
    3. Assist in the global dissemination of traditional knowledge, skills and methods for restoration and maintenance of physical fabric through exchanges, publications, digital and other media to benefit the maintenance and restoration of the physical fabric of cultural and mixed World Heritage properties;

Earth observation for World Heritage conservation

  1. Recalling that Earth observation satellite technologies, spatial data and analysis tools have tremendously improved over the past decade and that they provide powerful additional means for decision-makers and stakeholders of the Convention to find comprehensive solutions to today’s global challenges for World Heritage properties,
  2. Takes note with satisfaction that the World Heritage Centre, in collaboration with the Group on Earth Observation (GEO) Secretariat and GEO Greek Office, has recently launched the Urban Heritage Climate Observatory (UHCO) as a GEO Community Activity that applies earth observation tools to understand and document the impacts of climate change on World Heritage cities and invites States Parties to contribute to the UHCO with data, expertise, networks, and financial resources;
  3. Requests States Parties, the World Heritage Centre, the Advisory Bodies, UNESCO Category 2 Centres and other relevant institutions to continue exploring collaborative partnerships, which apply innovative technological advances in remote sensing to the improved monitoring and protection of World Heritage properties;
  4. Reiterates its encouragements to States Parties to invest in the necessary institutional and individual capacity needed to make full use of such Earth observation technologies for the early detection of activities potentially harmful to the Outstanding Universal Value of World Heritage properties and to better understand trends and respond appropriately.

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Code: 39COM 10B.3

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined document WHC-15/39.COM/10B,
  2. Recalling Decision 35 COM 10C.3 adopted at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011),
  3. Acknowledges the progress accomplished in the follow-up of the second cycle of Periodic Reporting in the Arab States and encourages them to continue their efforts in the implementation of recommendations;
  4. Notes with concern the decrease in the number of focal points and strongly encourages States Parties concerned to designate one focal point for cultural heritage and another one for natural heritage;
  5. Further encourages States Parties to follow the recommendation of the Chairperson of the 35th session of the World Heritage Committee (Paris, UNESCO, 2011), contained in her letter addressed to all the Arab countries on the establishment of national entities for World Heritage;
  6. Also encourages States Parties to continue the implementation of the Recommendation regarding the Historic Urban Landscape in order to enhance the conservation of urban heritage sites inscribed on the World Heritage List;
  7. Notes with satisfaction the commitment and important financial contribution of the Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage (ARC-WH), based in Bahrain, and invites Arab States to strengthen their cooperation with the ARC-WH;
  8. Further reminds States Parties which have not already done so to submit their Retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value by 1 February 2016 at the latest, as well as clarifications of boundaries by 1 December 2015 at the latest.

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Code: 38COM 5E

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/5E,
  2. Recalling Decisions 32 COM 10, 32 COM 10A, 34 COM 5F.1, 36 COM 5D and 36 COM 5E, adopted at its 32nd (Quebec City, 2008), 34th (Brasilia, 2010) and 36th (Saint Petersburg, 2012) sessions respectively,
  3. Welcomes the progress report on the implementation of the World Heritage Thematic Programmes and Initiative and thanks all States Parties, donors and other organizations for having contributed to achieving their objectives;
  4. Acknowledges the results attained by the Forest Programme and expresses its regrets that no extrabudgetary funding could be secured and asks the World Heritage Centre to explore alternative options before phasing out the Programme;
  5. Notes the importance of the World Heritage Cities Programme and underlines the relevance of the Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape to provide a comprehensive and thorough framework for cities’ urban planning, conservation and sustainable development;
  6. Takes note that the follow-up of the HEADS Programme will be ensured in the framework of extra-budgetary projects, through extra-budgetary funding secured by the UNESCO Mexico Office from the Carlos Slim Foundation, and in coordination with the Category 2 Centre on Rock Art (Spain) and requests that the outcomes of the projects be reported to the World Heritage Committee;
  7. Also takes note of the results achieved by the Earthen Architecture Programme and the lack of extra-budgetary resources; further takes note that the programme will be pursued, provided that extra-budgetary funding can be secured, with the assistance of Advisory Bodies and external partners, and encourages stakeholders to ensure the follow-up of the Programme and continue supporting research and other activities in order to assist States Parties in identifying and protecting relevant sites;
  8. Notes the results achieved in the implementation of the Astronomy and World Heritage Initiative as well as the lack of extra-budgetary funding; also notes that the World Heritage Centre will continue basic coordination with its strategic partners, communicate the results achieved by the Advisory Bodies and other partners, and will provide advice to States Parties as requested; and also encourages stakeholders to ensure the follow-up of the Initiative and continue supporting research and other activities to assist States Parties in identifying and protecting relevant sites;
  9. Welcomes the progress made in the implementation of the World Heritage Sustainable Tourism Programme and in securing the extrabudgetary funding and encourages the States Parties to participate in the Programme with national activities;
  10. Acknowledges the results of the World Heritage Programme for Small Island Developing States (SIDS), which has been beneficial to all regions and continues to achieve its key objectives;
  11. Also requests the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, with the support of interested States Parties, to continue efforts to implement the activities foreseen under the remaining Thematic Programmes in 2014-2015;
  12. Further encourages States Parties, international organizations and donors to contribute to the Thematic Programmes and Initiatives and further requests the World Heritage Centre to submit an updated result-based report on Thematic Programmes and Initiatives for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016.

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Code: 37COM 12.II

The World Heritage Committee,

1.  Having examined Document WHC-13/37.COM/12,

2.  Recalling Decisions 36 COM 13.I and 36 COM 13.II adopted at its 36th session (Saint Petersburg, 2012) and 35 COM 12B adopted at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011),

3.  Noting Decisions 7.COM 3 and 7.COM 6 adopted by the Committee for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict at its seventh meeting in December 2012, and welcoming the reflections on the interaction between the World Heritage Convention and the Second Protocol (1999) to the 1954 Hague Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict;

4.  Requests the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies to develop, in cooperation with the Secretariat of the Hague Convention (1954), a revision of Annex 5 of the Operational Guidelines (Format for the Nomination of Properties for Inscription on the World Heritage List) in order to allow Parties to the Second Protocol (1999) to request, if they wish so, the inscription of the nominated property on the List of Cultural Property under Enhanced Protection;

5.  Takes note of the recommendations of the International World Heritage Expert Meeting on Earthen Architecture and further requests the World Heritage Centre to prepare, in the framework of the World Heritage Earthen Architecture Programme (WHEAP), a draft text and review the best place in which such a proposal could be reflected (e.g. Resource Manuals, web-pages or Operational Guidelines );

6.  Notes the results of the International Expert Meeting on Visual Integrity (India, 2013) following the International Expert Meeting on Integrity for Cultural Heritage (UAE, 2012) and considers that further examination of proposed revisions may be brought to the 38th session of the World Heritage Committee after the expert meeting on the UNESCO Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape and World Heritage (Brazil, September 2013), which should reflect upon the identification of urban heritage within the categories of the Convention and propose the appropriate revisions to the Operational Guidelines , together with the proposed revisions of the relevant section in Annex 3 to reflect the guidance required for the nomination, evaluation and management of urban heritage, for examination by the Committee when establishing the next cycle of revision of the Operational Guidelines ;

7.  Also notes the results of the International Expert Meeting on World Heritage Convention and Indigenous Peoples (Denmark, 2012) and decides to re-examine the recommendations of this meeting following the results of the discussions to be held by the Executive Board on the UNESCO Policy on indigenous peoples for further steps;

8.  Approves the revisions of the Operational Guidelines for these paragraphs: 127, 128, 132, 150, 161, 162 and 240 as follows:

Paragraph 150 of the Operational Guidelines

Letters from the concerned State ( s ) Part y( ies ) , submitted in the appropriate form in Annex 12, detailing the factual errors th at ey might have been identified in the evaluation of their nomination made by the Advisory Bodies, must be received by the Chairperson World Heritage Centre at least no later than 14 days before the opening of the session of the Committee with copies to the relevant Advisory Bod y( ies ) . Provided that the Chairperson, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Body, is satisfied that the letter deals only with factual errors and contains no advocacy, t T he letter s shall be distributed in the working languages to the members of the Committee and may be read out by the Chairperson  the presentation of the   evaluation made available as an annex to the documents for the relevant agenda item, and no later than the first day of the Committee session. If a letter contains both notification of factual errors and advocacy, only those parts of it dealing with factual errors shall be distributed. The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies may add their comments to the letters, in the relevant section of the form, before they are made available.

Paragraph 161 of the Operational Guidelines

The normal timetable and definition of completeness for the submission and processing of nominations will not apply in the case of properties which in the opinion of the relevant Advisory Bodies, would unquestionably meet the criteria for inscription on the World Heritage List and which would be in Danger, as a result of having have suffered damage or face facing serious and specific dangers from natural events or human activities , which would constitute an emergency situation for which an immediate decision by the Committee is necessary to ensure their safeguarding, and which , according to the report of the relevant Advisory Bodies, may unquestionably justify Outstanding Universal Value.

Such nominations will be processed on an emergency basis and their examination is included in the agenda of the next Committee session. may be These properties may be inscribed simultaneously on the World Heritage List . They shall, in that case, be simultaneously inscribed and on the List of World Heritage in Danger (see paragraphs 177-191).

Paragraph 162 of the Operational Guidelines

The procedure for nominations to be processed on an emergency basis is as follows:

a)  A State Party presents a nomination with the request for processing on an emergency basis. The State Party shall have already included, or immediately include, the property on its Tentative List.

b)  The nomination shall:

i)   describe the property and identify precisely its boundaries the property ;

ii)  justify its Outstanding Universal Value according to the criteria;

iii)  justify its integrity and/or authenticity;

iv) describe its protection and management system;

v)  describe the nature of the emergency, including and the nature and extent of the damage or specific danger and showing that immediate action by the Committee is necessary to ensure the safeguarding for the survival of the property.

c)  The Secretariat immediately transmits the nomination to the relevant Advisory Bodies, requesting an assessment of the qualities of the property which may justify its Outstanding Universal Value, and of the nature of the danger and the urgency of a decision by the Committee . emergency, damage and/or danger . A field visit may be necessary if the relevant Advisory Bodies consider it appropriate and if the time allows ;

d)   If the relevant Advisory Bodies determine that the property unquestionably meets the criteria for inscription, and that the requirements (see a) above) are satisfied, the examination of the nomination will be added to the agenda of the next session of the Committee.

d e )  When reviewing the nomination the Committee will also consider:

i)   inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger;

ii) i) allocation of International Assistance  to complete the nomination; and

iii) ii) follow-up missions as necessary by the Secretariat and the relevant Advisory Bodies as soon as possible after inscription to fulfil the Committee’s recommendations.


Paragraph 240 of the Operational Guidelines

A balance will be maintained in the allocation of resources between cultural and natural heritage and between Conservation and Management and Preparatory Assistance. This balance is reviewed and decided upon on a regular basis by the Committee and during the last 3 months during the second year of each biennium by the Chairperson of or the World Heritage Committee.


Paragraph 128 of the Operational Guidelines

Nominations may be submitted at any time during the year [original in bold], but only those nominations that are "complete" (see paragraph 132) and received by the Secretariat on or before 1 February 3 [original in bold] [ 3 If 1 February falls on a weekend, the nomination must be received by 17h00 GMT the preceding Friday.] will be considered for inscription on the World Heritage List by the World Heritage Committee during the following year. Only nominations of properties included in the State Party's Tentative List will be examined by the Committee (see paragraph s 63 and 65 ).


Paragraph 132 of the Operational Guidelines

For a nomination to be considered as "complete", the following requirements (see format in Annex 5) are to be met:

1. Identification of the Property

The boundaries of the property being proposed shall be clearly defined, unambiguously distinguishing between the nominated property and any buffer zone (when present) (see paragraphs 103-107). Maps shall be sufficiently detailed (see Explanatory Note of section 1.e in Annex 5) to determine precisely which area of land and/or water is nominated. Officially up-to-date published topographic maps of the State Party annotated to show the property boundaries and any buffer zone (when present) shall be provided if available in printed version. A nomination shall be considered "incomplete" if it does not include clearly defined boundaries.[…]

10. Number of printed copies required (including map annexed)

- Nominations of cultural properties (excluding cultural landscapes): 2 identical copies

- Nominations of natural properties and cultural landscapes: 3 identical copies

- Nominations of mixed properties: 4 identical copies

Explanatory Notes of Annex 5

1.e Maps and plans, showing the boundaries of the nominated property and buffer zone [original in bold]

Annex to the nomination, and list below with scales and dates:

(i) An o O riginal cop y ies of a topographic map s showing the property nominated, at the largest scale available which show s the entire property. The boundaries of the nominated property and buffer zone should be clearly marked . Either on this map, or on an accompanying one, there should also be a record of t The boundaries of zones of special legal protection from which the property benefits should be recorded on maps to be included under the protection and management section of the nomination text . Multiple maps may be necessary for serial nominations (see table in 1.d). The maps provided should be at the largest available and practical scale to allow the identification of topographic elements such as neighbouring settlements, buildings and routes in order to allow the clear assessment of the impact of any proposed development within, adjacent to, or on the boundary line. The choice of the adequate scale is essential to clearly show the boundaries of the proposed site and shall be in relation to the category of site that is proposed for inscription: cultural sites would require cadastral maps, while natural sites or cultural landscapes would require topographic maps (normally 1:25 000 to 1:50 000 scale).

Utmost care is needed with the width of boundary lines on maps, as thick boundary lines may make the actual boundary of the property ambiguous.

Maps may be obtained from the addresses shown at the following Web address https://whc.unesco.org/en/mapagencies.

If topographic maps are not available at the appropriate scale other maps may be substituted. All maps should be capable of being geo-referenced, with a minimum of three points on opposite sides of the maps with complete sets of coordinates. The maps, untrimmed, should show scale, orientation, projection, datum, property name and date. If possible, maps should be sent rolled and not folded.

Geographic Information in digital form is encouraged if possible, suitable for incorporation into a GIS (Geographic Information System), however this may not substitute the submission of printed maps. In this case the delineation of the boundaries (nominated property and buffer zone) should be presented in vector form, prepared at the largest scale possible.  The State Party is invited to contact the Secretariat for further information concerning this option. […]

Paragraph 127 of the Operational Guidelines

States Parties may submit draft nominations to the Secretariat for comment and review at any time during the year. However States Parties are strongly encouraged to transmit to the Secretariat by 30 September [original in bold] of each the preceding year (see paragraph 168) the draft nominations that they wish to submit by the 1 February deadline . This submission of a draft nomination is voluntary should include maps showing the boundaries for the proposed site. Draft nominations could be submitted either in electronic format or in printed version (only in 1 copy without annexes except for maps). In both cases they should be accompanied by a cover letter.

9.  Decides not to approve the changes proposed for paragraphs 61, 141 and 168;

10. Further requests the World Heritage Centre to proceed with the corrections of language inconsistencies between the English and French versions of the Operational Guidelines .

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