The Bureau recalled that the case of Puebla was briefly discussed at the seventeenth session of the Committee. The Secretariat informed the Bureau that since then, it continued to receive letters and reports from individuals, associations and organizations on the rehabilitation plan for Puebla, particularly the so-called Rio San Francisco area.
A report was received on 28 March 1994 from the Mexican National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) that a regional development programme called ANGELOPOLIS is in preparation for an area of the State of Puebla including 14 municipalities and 35% of the population of the State of Puebla. It also reported that in the context of this regional development plan an urban rehabilitation project is planned for the Rio San Francisco area in Puebla which would include the development of a pedestrian area and the construction of hotels, a convention centre and commercial areas. The report re-affirmed the statement made by the Delegate of Mexico at the seventeenth session of the Committee, namely that to date no concrete proposals exist for the area concerned. It confirmed, however, that the proposal in Puebla would concern 27 of the 391 building blocks within the World Heritage site. The report stressed that the National Institute would create a special commission to evaluate future projects for this area.
The Bureau was also informed that the Director-General of UNESCO decided, at the request of the Governor of Puebla, to send an expert to Puebla to advise the municipal and'state authorities on the rehabilitation plans. This mission was undertaken in early June by an architect/urbanist from the University of Venice.
The draft mission report, which was received only a few days before the Bureau session and which includes an analysis of the urban structure and morphology of the historic centre of Puebla, concludes that the projected intervention would be valid in the sense that it would upgrade an area now partially abandoned and would re-establish the visual and functional links between the eastern and the western parts of the centre, but that the structure and morphology of the area should be maintained and reinforced, and should form the basis for future plans.
The Secretariat informed the Bureau that as a follow-up to the mission a request for technical assistance had been presented by the Government of Mexico to obtain the services of the expert who undertook the mission, for advice and guidance in the further development of the plans.
The Representative of ICOMOS informed the Bureau that it also had tried to examine the situation in Puebla through its national committee, but that it had not succeeded. He offered, however, ICOMOS' services and expertise in the evaluation of the expert mission report and the information received from the Mexican authorities.
The Bureau decided that at this point it could not form a clear opinion on the plans for Puebla and requested the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS to evaluate the reports and to report in more detail to the eighteenth session of the Committee.