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Decision 44 COM 7B.44
Historic Centre of Prague (Czechia) (C 616bis)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decisions 36 COM 7B.73 and 42 COM 7B.21, adopted at its 36th (Saint-Petersburg, 2012), and 42nd (Manama, 2018) sessions respectively,
  3. Notes with satisfaction the organization of the online seminar ‘Integrating Urban Heritage in Urban Planning Processes’ with the support of the World Heritage Centre following the recommendation of the 2019 joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission, as well as the inclusion of the 2011 Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape (HUL Recommendation) and the focus on preparation of the City of Prague Metropolitan Plan, and requests the State Party to submit the plan upon its finalization to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies prior to its adoption;
  4. Also notes the information provided by the State Party about a range of conservation projects, as well as the progress towards statutory changes, and the pending finalization of the Management Plan for the property, but expresses concern that these processes do not yet adequately address previous Committee decisions or the findings of the 2010 and 2019 Reactive Monitoring missions;
  5. Further notes the information submitted by the State Party regarding the preparation of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) for the planned cable car project located between Podbada-Troja-Bohnice within the buffer zone of the property, and also requests the State Party to submit the proposal for the cable car project along with the EIA and SEA to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies in accordance with paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  6. Notes furthermore the proposed architectural competition for revitalisation of the former Masaryk Railway Station and also invites the State Party to transmit to the World Heritage Centre, detailed information on the project proposals including the Terms of Reference or guidelines for design competition entries, before making any decisions that would be difficult to reverse, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  7. Endorses the 2019 mission recommendations and also requests the State Party to implement them fully particularly the:
    1. Advancement in aligning national and local laws and regulations with those necessary for heritage protection and management of World Heritage properties in accordance with the World Heritage Convention and its Operational Guidelines, and in line with international norms and standards that may include new laws as well as amendments to existing ones such as the Amendment of the State Heritage Care Act, and the Act for Cultural Heritage Preservation,
    2. Refinement and finalization of the Management Plan for the property in line with the HUL Recommendation and its integration and alignment with the City of Prague Metropolitan Plan to ensure protection of the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property in its setting,
    3. Establishment of intersectoral coordination so that heritage protection is integrated with urban development plans, policies and processes across different sectors from transport to housing, water supply, tourism, and land management,
    4. Establishment of building regulations that may be varied for each quarter or historical block as appropriate, to guide and manage the identity of the built form at a range of scales from volume and height to building materials, colours, railings, and doorframes,
    5. Preparation of Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs) in line with the 2011 ICOMOS Guidance on HIAs for Cultural World Heritage Properties (2011 ICOMOS Guidance) to assess the effect of significant policies and projects on the OUV of the property,
    6. Specific recommendations regarding individual components, buildings, and projects;
  8. Reiterates its great concern about the longstanding potential and ascertained threats to the property, as defined in Paragraph 179 of the Operational Guidelines, due to continued inadequate management of issues such as the extensive large-scale urban development in the buffer zone of the property and its wider setting, as well as the lack of adequate regulations for high-rise developments that have had continued to adversely impacts on the property’s OUV;
  9. Notes with concern that the State Party has not implemented the Committee’s previous request to introduce a general moratorium on major projects within the property, its buffer zone and its wider setting as requested in the Committee Decision 42 COM 7B.21, and further requests the State Party to implement an immediate moratorium on buildings above the general height of their surroundings on the Pankrác Plain (as defined in Figure 32 of the 2019 mission report), and give priority to developing and implementing appropriate building regulations, including a high-rise limitations plan; and reminds the State Party that high-rise construction on the Pankrác Plain is inconsistent with the protection of the OUV of the property and that the Committee Decision 32 COM 7B.86 applies to the totality of the Pankrác Plain;
  10. Requests furthermore that the State Party submit to the World Heritage Centre, in conformity with Paragraph 118bis of the Operational Guidelines:
    1. HIAs for all proposed projects which may affect the OUV of the property prepared in accordance with the 2011 ICOMOS Guidance,
    2. An assessment of the cumulative impacts of all executed projects within the property, its buffer zone and its wider setting, from the baseline of the condition at the time of the inscription of the property on the World Heritage List, regarding the impact of these projects on the OUV of the property;
  11. Considers that the property’s authenticity and integrity is threatened by the above described factors, therefore, requests moreover the State Party to reinforce the protection and management of the property, including the revision of the legal framework that are designed to ensure these, and prevent any future damage to its OUV;
  12. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2022, 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 46th session, with a view to considering, in the absence of substantial progress in complying with the decisions of the Committee and the implementation of the recommendations of the 2019 mission, the inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Decision Code
44 COM 7B.44
Themes
Conservation
States Parties 1
Year
2021
State of conservation reports
2021 Historic Centre of Prague
Documents
WHC/21/44.COM/18
Decisions adopted at the 44th extended session of the World Heritage Committee
Context of Decision
WHC-21/44.COM/7B
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