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Old Town of Ávila with its Extra-Muros Churches

Spain
Factors affecting the property in 2007*
  • Housing
  • Legal framework
  • Management systems/ management plan
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Project to construct a new bridge over the river Rio Adajo  (issue resolved) 
  • Urban pressure : re-designing of the Plaza Santa Teresa, located between the town walls and the extra-muros Church of San Pedro, including the replacement of traditional buildings with new ones
  • Lack of buffer-zone and integrated management plan
  • Inadequate legal protection;
  • Inadequate respect of the Operational Guidelines (para. 172) before construction and refurbishment were undertaken.
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2007
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2007**

Joint UNESCO World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS mission, March 2005.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2007

The State Party provided on 1 February 2007 a report in Spanish with three annexes including

a) a reply to the retrospective inventory;

b) cartographic documentation;

c) clarifications of minor boundary modifications.

The document also explains legislative progress, especially concerning the passing of the Decree 22/2004 of 29 January, establishing the Urban Planning Regulation of Castilla y Leon and the Agreement 37/2005 of 31 March of the Castilla y Leon Regional Government, establishing the PAHIS Plan 2004-2012 regarding Historical Heritage in Castilla y Leon. The PAHIS Plan includes a Protection Scheme that envisages the implementation of legislation needed to fully enforce the provisions of the Castilla y Leon Cultural Heritage Act, Law 12/2002. The PAHIS Plan also envisages specific treatment of World Heritage properties and includes a ‘series of concrete measures whose purpose is to ensure upholding of the excellence criteria on which recognition was based in the first place and to enhance conservation and management conditions’.

With regard to the request made for an integrated management plan, the report notes that a ‘Territorial Heritage System’ has been drafted for the management of the World Heritage property. In addition, a Framework Collaboration Agreement between the Department of Culture and Tourism of the Castilla y Leon Regional Government and the Town Hall of Avila for the drafting of a Management Plan for the Old Town of Avila and its Extra-Muros Churches as a site included on the World Heritage List has also been signed (27 September 2006). A Joint Committee will be formed to co-ordinate and monitor the enforcement of the Agreement and the works deriving from it. During 2007 discussions will be undertaken with stakeholders involved in heritage management and a document will be drafted in 2008 to serve as the basis for the work envisaged in implementation of protection measures, definition of specific measures required by the Convention, etc. This document will be submitted to the national Ministry of Culture and the World Heritage Centre in 2008 and, following this consultation, a text will be presented for preliminary approval in the first half of 2009.

With regard to the boundaries of the property and its buffer zone, the report summarises the earlier information and maps of boundaries and buffer zones provided to the World Heritage Centre in response to clarifications sought during the Periodic Reporting exercise. A proposal to modify the boundaries is being developed to enhance the property’s degree of coherence by including six other extra-muros religious monuments within an enlarged area and with new buffer zones that are consistent with the level of protection that the new integrated management plan seeks to provide.

Furthermore, via letter dated 2 March 2007, a CD was transmitted to the World Heritage Centre concerning the state of conservation of Avila which provides a summary of the delimitations as well as protection measures in English.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2007
31 COM 7B.118
Old Town of Avila with its Extra-Muros Churches (Spain)

The World Heritage Committee,

1.       Having examined Document WHC-07/31.COM/7B,

2.       Recalling Decision 30 COM 7B.79, adopted at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006),

3.       Acknowledges the progress made to improve the level of legal protection for World Heritage properties in Castilla y Leon so as to ensure that the values and integrity be better conserved and repetition of similar threats to the integrity and authenticity of the World Heritage property be avoided in the future;

4.       Notes that the State Party has submitted detailed maps presenting the boundaries of the property and its buffer zones, and is preparing a proposal to modify these in order to give greater coherence to the property;

5.       Also notes that the State Party has now presented a time-frame for the creation of an integrated management plan for the property and has indicated that, in developing this plan, it will take fully into account the “Vienna Memorandum on World Heritage and Contemporary Architecture, Managing the Historic Urban Landscape" (2005);

6.       Urges the State Party to ensure that all stakeholders, including the local community, are encouraged to take part in the consultation process for the integrated management plan for the property;

7.       Requests the State Party to submit a progress report and the draft integrated management plan to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2010 for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session in 2010.

31 COM 8B.63
Nomination of natural, mixed and cultural properties to the world heritage list - Old Town of Ávila with its Extra-Muros Churches

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Documents WHC-07/31.COM/8B.Add and WHC-07/31.COM/INF.8B1.Add,

2. Approves the minor extension of the boundary of the Old Town of Ávila with its Extra-Muros Churches, Spain;

3. Requests that an adequate buffer zone be established and submitted for approval to the Committee;

4. Considers that further explanations for the choice of the boundaries to protect the setting of the town and its extra muros churches and views to and from it should be provided.

Draft Decision: 31 COM 7B.118

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-07/31.COM/7B,

2. Recalling Decision 30 COM 7B.79, adopted at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006),

3. Acknowledges the progress made to improve the level of legal protection for World Heritage properties in Castilla y Leon so as to ensure that the values and integrity be better conserved and repetition of similar threats to the integrity and authenticity of the World Heritage property be avoided in the future;

4. Notes that the State Party has submitted detailed maps presenting the boundaries of the property and its buffer zones, and is preparing a proposal to modify these in order to give greater coherence to the property;

5. Also notes that the State Party has now presented a time-frame for the creation of an integrated management plan for the property and has indicated that, in developing this plan, it will take fully into account the “Vienna Memorandum on World Heritage and Contemporary Architecture, Managing the Historic Urban Landscape" (2005);

6. Urges the State Party to ensure that all stakeholders, including the local community, are encouraged to take part in the consultation process for the integrated management plan for the property;

7. Requests the State Party to submit a progress report and the draft integrated management plan to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2010 for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session in 2010.

Report year: 2007
Spain
Date of Inscription: 1985
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (iii)(iv)
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 31COM (2007)
Exports

* : The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).

** : All mission reports are not always available electronically.


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