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World Heritage Convention

Decision 45 COM 7B.38
Historic Cairo (Egypt) (C 89)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/23/45.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 44 COM 7B.13 adopted at its extended 44th session (Fuzhou/online, 2021),
  3. Welcomes the progress made with the strengthening and operationalisation of the management system for the property through an increased allocation of resources and the inauguration of a Management Committee, which is tasked with delivering an integrated strategy for the preservation and urban regeneration of Historic Cairo;
  4. Also welcomes the work being undertaken on the development of a combined Management and Conservation Plan (MCP), which will be submitted to the World Heritage Centre in due course for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  5. Acknowledges the considerable work being undertaken on developing revitalisation projects for several quarters as well as the ‘Regeneration Projects for Historic Cairo’ in the areas of Bab Zweila, Al-Hakim Mosque and Darb Al-Labbanah that aim to preserve and develop the built fabric and take into consideration local communities, but expresses concern that the Masjid al Hakim project appears to encompass extensive transformation of the urban fabric in some parts, including removal and complete reconstruction of entire blocks, and requests the State Party to confirm the status of these projects and submit full details, including appropriate Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs), to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies before further work is undertaken;
  6. Notes the succinct project details provided for the ‘Development Strategy’, with the proposed reconfiguration of public streets and traffic circulation, and also requests the State Party to provide further details of the overall strategy and the specific projects, including mobility studies, and on how circulation relates to the wider context of the city of Cairo and to clarify the status of other planned road developments across the property as well as road widening proposals;
  7. Also acknowledges the considerable progress made to complete Phases 1 and 2 of the overall Urban Regeneration Project for Historic Cairo (URHC), but regrets that no information was provided on the development of the third and vital stage of the URHC, that is, the Sustainable Development Plan with the approach of the 2011 Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape (HUL), which was due for completion at the end of 2020, and further requests the State Party to clarify whether the information provided concerning the ‘Development Strategy’ refers to this key document and to provide an update on the completion date of this document that the Steering Committee will execute, ensuring the integration of the protection of the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property with its sustainable development, and to submit the plan to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  8. Reiterates its request to the State Party to ensure that no major projects relating to rehabilitation of neighbourhoods or improvements to roads are undertaken until the Sustainable Development Plan and MCP have been completed, reviewed and approved;
  9. Takes note that the State Party has informed that the road built across the historic Northern and Southern Cairo cemeteries did not involve the demolition of any tombs or mausolea within the property, nevertheless, expresses concern about the recently reported damages and reiterates its request to the State Party to submit as a matter of urgency technical information on any major project at the property, or its buffer zone, in line with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  10. Also takes note of the details provided in the legal framework with respect to the demolition of protected monuments, considers that it remains unclear how these relate to unregistered buildings or demolition permissions issued for safety reasons in the long term, and once all assessment and studies have been completed, and requests furthermore the State Party to provide the necessary clarification;
  11. Reiterates its concern that the specific urban morphologies of different neighbourhoods, including their unprotected commonplace buildings that provide the historical and social context for listed buildings, appear to have no sufficient overall protection, and requests moreover the State Party to confirm that that this challenge will be addressed by the Sustainable Development Plan and MCP in terms of approaches to documentation, contribution to OUV, and rehabilitation of these neighbourhoods;
  12. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2024, 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.
Decision Code
45 COM 7B.38
States Parties 1
Properties 1
State of conservation reports
2023 Historic Cairo
Context of Decision