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Decision 41 COM 7B.42
Historic Centre of Vienna (Austria) (C 1033)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decisions 39 COM 7B.94 and 40 COM 7B.49, adopted at its 39th (Bonn, 2015) and 40th (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016) sessions respectively,
  3. Also recalling the concerns expressed by the 2012 mission regarding the critical level of urban development reached since inscription and its cumulative impacts on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, the need for new tools to guide the development process towards sustainable development that protects the attributes of the OUV, and the specific recommendations of the 2015 mission to the property,
  4. Noting the information provided by the State Party including design changes and a Heritage Impact Assessment for the proposed Vienna Ice-Skating Club – Intercontinental Hotel – Vienna Konzerthaus project, the resolution of the City Council of Vienna dated 5th May 2017, the intention to analyze and review existing urban planning instruments, and the advice regarding proposed projects in the the Karlsplatz-area,
  5. Welcomes the study on historic roof constructions in the Historic Centre of Vienna by the Federal Monuments Authority in collaboration with the City of Vienna, and requests the State Party to adopt a moratorium on projects that involve any modification of the roofscapes within the property, until the study has been completed;
  6. Notes with regret that the changes made to the proposed Vienna Ice-Skating Club – Intercontinental Hotel – Vienna Konzerthaus project do not comply with the previous requests of the Committee, and that the proposed project remains inconsistent with the recommendations of the 2012 and 2015 missions and would adversely affect the OUV of the property if implemented in its current form, and therefore reiterates its requests to the State Party to submit a further revised design to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies, before any decisions are made regarding its implementation, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  7. Reiterating its concern that the High-Rise Concept abolishes exclusion zones for high-rise buildings in the Vienna urban areas, without having applied appropriate instruments of control for height, volume and urban density respecting the OUV of the property, and that the Glacis Master Plan permits the construction of buildings of a scale that would have an adverse impact on the urban form and character of the Glacis area, expresses its regret that these instruments have not been repealed or substantially amended, and therefore also reiterates its request to the State Party to facilitate the preparation of revised planning rules and guidelines, which:
    1. Establish parameters for the urban density as well as specific standards for building height and volume for the property and buffer zone,
    2. Safeguard the urban morphology that is an essential attribute of the property,
    3. Encourage sustainable development in the property and its buffer zone in harmony with its OUV,
    4. Require that all high-rise projects are evaluated through a comprehensive Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA), prepared in accordance with the ICOMOS Guidance on HIAs for Cultural World Heritage properties, including reference to 3D visual simulations, so that the effects of the proposed development on the OUV of the property can be properly considered;
    5. Incorporate the intent of the resolution of the City Council of Vienna, dated 5 May 2017 within the revised planning rules and guidelines;
  8. Also requests the State Party to facilitate review of the designs for the proposed developments in the Karlsplatz-area, having particular regard to the setting of the Karlskirche, and to ensure that the proposals are evaluated through a comprehensive HIA, prepared in accordance with the ICOMOS Guidance on HIAs for Cultural World Heritage properties, and that comprehensive documentation, including adequate scale drawings and visualizations of the planned interventions as observed from ground level, are submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, before any decision is made regarding the future of these projects;
  9. Urges the State Party not to amend the current land use and development plans and to halt any further approvals for high-rise projects, pending the preparation of the revised planning rules, and submit the proposed designs and related HIAs for any future high-rise projects to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  10. Regrets that the State Party has not complied with the requests expressed by the Committee in Decision 40 COM 7B.49, in particular related to the lack of change to existing planning controls and the inadequate extent of change proposed for the Vienna Ice-Skating Club – Intercontinental Hotel – Vienna Konzerthaus project;
  11. Considers that the current planning controls pose serious and specific threats to the OUV of the property, such that the property is in danger, in accordance with Paragraph 179 of the Operational Guidelines and decides to inscribe the Historic Centre of Vienna (Austria) on the List of World Heritage in Danger;
  12. Further requests the State Party, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, to develop a set of corrective measures, a timeframe for their implementation, and a Desired state of conservation for removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 42nd session in 2018;
  13. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 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 42nd session in 2018.
Decision Code
41 COM 7B.42
Themes
Conservation, List of World Heritage in Danger
States Parties 1
Year
2017
State of conservation reports
2017 Historic Centre of Vienna
Documents
WHC/17/41.COM/18
Decisions adopted during the 41st session of the World Heritage Committee (Krakow, 2017)
Context of Decision
WHC-17/41.COM/7B.Add
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