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World Heritage Convention

Decision 44 COM 7B.49
Budapest, including the Banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter and Andrássy Avenue (Hungary) (C 400bis)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 43 COM 7B.84, adopted at its 43rd session (Baku, 2019),
  3. Welcomes the reorganization of State administration in charge of World Heritage properties’ protection at the national level and the designation of World Heritage properties as Highly Determinative Sites in Terms of Protected Urban Landscape, through enabling amendments to the 2011 World Heritage Act;
  4. Takes note of the State Party’s efforts to strengthen the planning framework through guidance documents and enhanced coordination of its relevant planning authorities;
  5. Also welcomes the consistent commitments and efforts made by the State Party to address urban development issues through legal and regulatory measures taking into consideration the approach of the 2011 UNESCO Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape (HUL), notably through the 2018 amendments to the "High-Level House Act" limiting the height of all new constructions to 65 meters;
  6. Acknowledging that ex post facto law is prohibited in every constitutional state, notes that the amended “High-Level House Act” is not applicable for the one and only high-rise building construction permit issued before it became law and so the works on the 120-meter-high MOL Campus building located at a distance of 2 kilometres from the buffer zone in District 11 are ongoing;
  7. Also notes that the revision of the regulation regarding Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs) to ensure that they meet the ICOMOS Guidance is planned in the near future and that 3D visual simulations will also be prepared, and urges the State Party to ensure its processes for commissioning HIAs, including Visual Impact Assessments and visual simulations address impacts on relevant attributes of the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) and relevant views of the property as well as requests clarifications whether the revised regulation would be applicable to development projects already planned and ongoing;
  8. Further notes that the Management Plan could not be finalized as foreseen in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and recalls Decision 39 COM 7B.79, which requested the State Party to finalize, as soon as possible the Management Plan of the property including details of the protective measures and regulatory regimes and submit it to the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies;
  9. Notes with concern that as a result of the delay of the finalization of the Management Plan, construction works on a number of major new developments within the property and its buffer zone have continued or have already been completed despite the Committee’s request in 43 COM 7B.84, and reiterates its request to the State Party to submit all relevant documents including plans, drawings, and HIAs for all proposed projects within the property and the buffer zone to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies until the completion of the updated Management Plan for the property in line with the 2011 UNESCO Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape;
  10. Also recalling Decision 43 COM 7B.84, notes moreover that the works relating to the National Hauszmann Programme (NHP) for the Buda Castle Quarter are ongoing, and that the state of conservation of the property has been negatively impacted by planned reconstruction and new construction, which may have a cumulative negative impact on the OUV of the property including its authenticity and integrity, and also requests the State Party to ensure that, in line with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, any planned larger-scale projects in the immediate and wider setting of the World Heritage property be submitted to the World Heritage Centre as soon as possible, and that adequate time be allowed for thorough review of each project by the Advisory Bodies before any decision is taken;
  11. Acknowledging the efforts made by the State Party to corroborate the ideological basis of the NHP, also urges further discussion and close collaboration based on open dialogue between the State Party, the Advisory Bodies and the World Heritage Centre regarding the interpretation of the justification for the NHP, - namely the desire to return some elements of outstanding importance of national identity within the Buda Castle to their pre-World War II form while at the same time emphasizing that they are also a major part of the inscribed property contributing to its OUV, in order to determine:
    1. Whether this approach challenges the authenticity and integrity of the property,
    2. How the NHP aligns to prevailing international norms and standards of conservation and reconstruction,
    3. Whether there are contradictions between national objectives and international obligations to the World Heritage Convention;
  12. Takes note that the State Party has begun to comply with the requests of the World Heritage Committee and recommendations of the 2018 and 2019 missions, and defers consideration of the inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger to its 45th session;
  13. Reiterates its request to the State Party to consider halting all ongoing and planned works at Buda Castle and invites the State Party to request, as a matter of urgency, and to initiate an (online) ICOMOS Advisory Assistance to develop alternative conservation approaches for interventions in line with international norms for conservation of the OUV of World Heritage properties, for development of the Buda Castle Quarter;
  14. Also reiterates its request to the State Party to ensure that, in line with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, details of interventions that could impact the OUV are submitted with appropriate HIAs, in line with ICOMOS Guidelines, to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  15. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 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 45th session.
Decisions adopted at the 44th extended session of the World Heritage Committee
Context of Decision