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World Heritage Convention

Decision 43 COM 7B.52
Rabat, Modern Capital and Historic City: a Shared Heritage (Morocco) (C 1401)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 36 COM 8B.18, adopted at its 36th session (Saint Petersburg, 2012),
  3. Takes note of the details provided in the report of the State Party which describes the major development scheme "Rabat, light city and cultural capital of Morocco" designed to augment economic, social and cultural infrastructure through restoration, rejuvenation, and new development in the property and its buffer zone, including a major urban landscape transformation of the Bouregreg river valley to link the cities of Rabat and Salé;
  4. Deeply regrets that full details of this scheme and of its individual component projects have not been provided in advance and for review by ICOMOS in line with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines; and that no Heritage Impact Assessments (HIA) have been submitted to the World Heritage Centre, as requested by the Committee at the time of inscription;
  5. Regrets that it has only been possible to carry out minor modifications to the Railway Station extension to mitigate its impact on the City Walls;
  6. Notes with concern the potentially adverse visual impact that the proposed “O Tower” would have on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property and requests that the State Party provide full details of all the ongoing and proposed major restoration and development projects and necessary HIAs to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies, before any further commitments are made on these projects, including those intended to be part of the major development scheme "Rabat, light city and cultural capital of Morocco";
  7. Encourages the State Party to implement the approach of the 2011 UNESCO Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape (HUL) to integrate the protection of the OUV of the property with urban development, including urban development in its wider setting;
  8. Recommends that the State Party convene, as soon as possible, a Technical Workshop for the World Heritage property in Rabat, and if possible also for the sites in the Maghreb region, to provide training and capacity reinforcement to site management on tools and guidance for implementing the HUL approach, as well as for the elaboration of HIAs that could help the State Party prepare the assessments necessary for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  9. Following the Technical Workshop, also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2020, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, as well as the following documents for examination by the World Heritage Committee:
    1. Skyline study of the property in its setting in the Bouregreg Valley,
    2. A 3D digital or physical model of the property and its volumes in its setting in the Bouregreg Valley,
    3. Heritage Impact Assessments following the ICOMOS Guidelines for the major projects ongoing and proposed,
    4. 3D and spatial studies of the potential individual and cumulative impact on the OUV of the property,
    5. Evidence of integration of the management plan for the property with the city development plan and architectural design guidelines in line with the HUL approach;
  10. Finally strongly recommends the State Party, following the review of these documents by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Advisory mission to the property for further assessment; the report of which will be for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 45th session in 2021.
Decisions adopted during the 43rd session of the World Heritage Committee (Baku, 2019)
Context of Decision