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City of Quito

Ecuador
Factors affecting the property in 2013*
  • Housing
  • Management activities
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Underground transport infrastructure
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Development pressures which impact the authenticity of the site;
  • Weaknesses in the decision-making process regarding conservation;
  • Works in the Tower of the Complex of the Society of Jesus
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2013
Requests approved: 16 (from 1981-1999)
Total amount approved : 391,800 USD
Missions to the property until 2013**

March 2009: joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2013

On 31 January 2013, a report on the state of conservation of the property was submitted by the State Party. The report includes comprehensive information about the current conditions at the property and the measures being implemented. It also includes a report about the proposed project for the Quito subway as well as current proposals for interventions at the architectural ensemble of the Society of Jesus.

a)  Management of the property

The State Party indicates that provisions for the management of the property are inserted in the planning processes of the Municipality of the Metropolitan District of Quito. The Municipality has in place, since 1988, a comprehensive planning system to respond to urban, socioeconomic, environmental and natural factors under three basic principles: democratization, decentralization and participation. The territory is divided into eight metropolitan zones; the Historic Centre of Quito falls under the Administration Zone Centre “Manuela Saenz” which is the operating and implementing body of the local government. In practice, it is responsible for the maintenance and development of public spaces and buildings, for the preservation of the environment, the promotion of sustainable development and for ensuring public participation, which are in turn supervised by different thematic offices at the municipal level (for example, the culture secretariat, the social inclusion secretariat, etc). The Metropolitan Institute of Cultural Heritage, a special unit added to the organic structure of the Municipality, plays a significant role as a technical unit with administrative and financial autonomy. This entity has the competencies and specific mandates in terms of restoration, conservation and protection of historic, artistic and religious cultural properties at the Metropolitan District of Quito. The National Institute for Cultural Heritage (INPC) maintains a supervisory role, as mandated by national level legislation.

The management arrangements in place consider a territorial model, with concrete mechanisms to ensure citizens’ participation. The Special Plan for the Historic Centre of Quito, published in 2003, continues to be the principal management framework to guide decision-making at the historic centre. Additional planning tools include the land use plan, the development plan for the district territory and the comprehensive programs for intervention. In addition to this, in 2012, the Municipality of the Metropolitan District of Quito, the Coordinating Ministry of Heritage and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development developed a framework for interagency cooperation which seeks the holistic revitalization of the historic Centre. Work has subsequently been undertaken to identify appropriate management mechanisms and the implementation of the action plan that would entail significant interventions at the Historic Centre.

The State Party notes the different funding sources that exist today. It also notes that with the management model, alternatives for financing have been explored not only at the institutional level but with respect to the creation of alliances with the private sector, leading to the adoption of an associative public-private model. 

b)  Interventions at the property

Throughout the years, conservation and rehabilitation works have been implemented at the different historic buildings. With the recently created interagency alliance, and consequently the streamlining of resources, it is expected that investments will be made. The Programme for the Revitalization of the Historic Centre of Quito is also intended to strengthen interventions at the property, incorporated within the dimensions of social and economic development. It identifies five main areas for interventions in which actions geared toward the following will be implemented: public space and equipment; housing; mobility, public safety; communication and promotion; culture, heritage and education; social management; economic sustainability, private investment and tourism. The State Party has provided a chart for investments for 2013 which include projects for interventions at several sectors that include heritage buildings.

In addition, the Metropolitan Development Plan 2012-2020 has also been developed which includes provisions for the protection of cultural heritage, public spaces, social housing, among others. Among the actions foreseen, the painting of facades, the improvement of sidewalks, street lighting, waste management, restoration of heritage buildings for social housing, are mentioned. It is also noted that the Metropolitan Heritage Institute has updated the inventory of heritage buildings and their state of conservation, which will be used as the basis for the identification of priority interventions.

c)  Quito subway project

A comprehensive report on the Quito Subway at the Historic Centre was annexed to the state of conservation report submitted by the State Party. It provides details on the proposal for the first line to be constructed, particularly on the aspects that pertain to the inscribed property. The foreseen duration of the project is 3 years and the estimated cost is 1,386 million dollars. Feasibility, engineering and archaeological surveys have already been carried out to assist in the decision making for the definition of potential routes. As it stands, the proposed route does not pass below heritage buildings and, given the depth, it does not affect monuments or other public and urban spaces. In the provided documentation, specifications for mitigation measures before, during and after construction have been identified as part of the studies. There will be one metro station to service the historic centre and several alternatives for its proposed location were explored. Given the results derived from the studies, only 2 choices were considered as viable options: one to be located at Plaza de San Francisco or another to be at the Plaza del Teatro. However, the subsequent sections only focus on the analysis of Plaza de San Francisco and no clear explanation is provided on why the second option was not analysed in depth. The study concludes that the works to be carried out for the construction of Line 1 of the Quito Subway would not have impacts on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property. The proposed designs and mitigation and management measures take into account the attributes of the property and its conditions of authenticity and integrity. Nevertheless, the potential impacts associated to the option for a station at Plaza del Teatro, instead of Plaza de San Francisco was not considered. Given the particular characteristics of the latter, its role as an emblematic part of the World Heritage property, and the anticipated flow of 24,000 people per day, it would be important to consider the location at Plaza del Teatro as a main option.

d)  Project proposals for the architectural ensemble of the Society of Jesus

The State Party also submitted technical information for two project proposals for the architectural ensemble of the Society of Jesus. The first of these is for the rehabilitation of space to be used as a hotel. The technical information submitted includes an updated assessment of the current conservation conditions and the interventions that are foreseen at all levels, from actions to address structural conditions to those related to the existing decorated surfaces and carpentry works. For the construction of the hotel, two sublevels would need to be added under the south patio for the infrastructure needed for the hotel operation. Significant structural modifications and adaptations, within the northern portion of the ensemble, are foreseen to create a third level by breaking up the heights of the second level. The proposal also notes the creation of a Jesuit Cultural Centre that will integrate the Church of the Society of Jesus, the bell tower and the Chapels of St. Joseph, of the Miracles and of the Knights, all of them significant architectural and religious components of the ensemble. 

 

The second project proposal pertains to the volumetric and formal recovery of the bell tower. With the interventions, it is also proposed that the bell tower would be used for tourism purposes, serving as an observation tower for the historic centre. Therefore, the project proposal still considers the incorporation of an elevator. For the project, a preliminary assessment has been carried out of the conditions at the property and of the history of the bell tower. The current proposal entails the conservation of the existing remains plus the construction of additional 7 meters to finish the top of the tower. 

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2013

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies welcome the cooperation between the major institutions and the definition of the revitalization programme. However, they recommend that the Committee express its concern about some of the activities proposed that include demolition and new construction. They consider it is essential that the State Party provides further details on the precise location of the areas and on the scope of the activities foreseen so that adequate guidance can be provided. They also consider that additional information should be presented on whether all planning tools developed to date will be integrated into a single management plan for the property, in particular, a comprehensive conservation plan.

 

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies note the technical information provided for both projects foreseen for the architectural ensemble of the Society of Jesus. However, no specific heritage impact assessments were included which are particularly relevant in light of the extensive interventions foreseen for the rehabilitation of architectural spaces of the hotel. These studies are necessary for informed decision-making and to ascertain what the adequate course of action would be for each sector and phase of the project. They also note that the project for the bell tower has reduced the proposal for construction of additional floors and would now only include the finish for the top of the tower. This would be more appropriate in terms of the existing skyline of the historic centre. They however would mention that an elevator is still foreseen and that no technical specifications for security measures have been included. 

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2013
37 COM 7B.97
City of Quito (Ecuador) (C 2)

The World Heritage Committee,

1.  Having examined Document WHC-13/37.COM/7B,

2.  Recalling Decision 35 COM 7B.124 , adopted at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2010),

3.  Takes notes of the information provided by the State Party on the actions implemented in terms of enhancing the conservation and management of the property;

4.  Also takes note of the submission by the State Party of a Heritage Impact Assessment, including technical, environmental and social studies concerning the option of the two metro stations in the historical centre;

5.  Recommends that the State Party consider the implementation of the following measures:

a)  Integration of all existing planning tools into a management plan, with a clear management structure,

b)  Development of a single comprehensive conservation plan, with details on costs and timeframes for implementation at different heritage sectors, on the established guidelines and criteria for interventions on the anticipated changes in use,

c)  Development of a heritage impact assessment, in accordance with ICOMOS Guidance on Heritage Impact Assessments for Cultural World Heritage Properties , for the proposed interventions at the architectural ensemble of the Compañía de Jesús;

6.  Welcomes the State Party’s invitation for an ICOMOS advisory mission to be financed by the State Party to evaluate the state of conservation of the property, the conservation, protection and management arrangements, including the alternatives for location of the metro stations and its related infrastructure, and provide guidance on the development of the conservation plan and the integration of the planning tools;

7.  Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2014 , 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 38th session in 2014. 

37 COM 8E
Adoption of retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value
The World Heritage Committee,

1.  Having examined Documents WHC-13/37.COM/8E and WHC-13/37.COM/8E.Add,

2.  Congratulates States Parties for the excellent work accomplished in the elaboration of retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value for World Heritage properties in their territories;

3.  Adopts the retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value, as presented in the Annex of Document WHC-13/37.COM/8E, for the following World Heritage properties:

  • Andorra: Madriu-Perafita-Claror Valley;
  • Argentina: Cueva de las Manos, Río Pinturas; Jesuit Block and Estancias of Córdoba; Quebrada de Humahuaca; Iguazu National Park;
  • Australia: Shark Bay, Western Australia; Greater Blue Mountains Area; Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens; Willandra Lakes Region; Kakadu National Park;
  • Austria / Hungary: Fertö / Neusiedlersee Cultural Landscape;
  • Bangladesh: The Sundarbans; Ruins of the Buddhist Vihara at Paharpur;
  • Belgium : La Grand-Place, Brussels;
  • Belgium / France: Belfries of Belgium and France;
  • Bolivia: Fuerte de Samaipata; Tiwanaku: Spiritual and Political Centre of the Tiwanaku Culture; Historic City of Sucre; Jesuit Missions of the Chiquitos;
  • Brazil: Serra da Capivara National Park;
  • Chile: Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works; Rapa Nui National Park; Churches of Chiloé; Sewell Mining Town; Historic quarter of the Seaport City of Valparaiso;
  • China: Huanglong Scenic and Historic Interest Area; Mount Huangshan; Mountain Resort and its Outlying Temples, Chengde; Ancient City of Ping Yao; Classical Gardens of Suzhou; Summer Palace, an Imperial Garden in Beijing; Ancient Villages in Southern Anhui – Xidi and Hongcun; Longmen Grottoes; Yungang Grottoes; Yin Xu; Imperial Tombs of the Ming and Qing Dynasties; Historic center of Macao; Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor;
  • Colombia: Port, Fortresses and Group of Monuments, Cartagena; Historic Centre of Santa Cruz de Mompox; San Agustín Archaeological Park; National Archeological Park of Tierradentro;
  • Costa Rica: Area de Conservación Guanacaste;
  • Cuba: Trinidad and the Valley de los Ingenios; Desembarco del Granma National Park; Alejandro de Humboldt National Park; Old Havana;
  • Cyprus: Choirokoitia; Painted Churches in the Troodos Region;
  • Denmark: Kronborg Castle;
  • Ecuador: City of Quito; Historic Centre of Santa Ana de los Ríos de Cuenca; Galápagos Islands;
  • El Salvador: Joya de Cerén Archaeological Site;
  • Ethiopia: Aksum; Fasil Ghebbi;
  • Finland / Sweden: High Coast / Kvarken Archipelago;
  • Guatemala: Archeological Park and Ruins of Quirigua; Antigua Guatemala;
  • Germany: Classical Weimar; Messel Pit Fossil Site; Roman Monuments, Cathedral of St Peter and Church of Our Lady in Trier; Aachen Cathedral; Cologne Cathedral; Hanseatic City of Lübeck; Historic Centres of Stralsund and Wismar; Museumsinsel (Museum Island), Berlin; Old town of Regensburg with Stadtamhof; Speyer Cathedral; Town Hall and Roland on the Marketplace of Bremen; Town of Bamberg;
  • Greece: Mount Athos;
  • Honduras: Maya Site of Copan;
  • Hungary: Old Village of Hollókő and its Surroundings; Millenary Benedictine Abbey of Pannonhalma and its Natural Environment; Early Christian Necropolis of Pécs (Sopianae); Tokaj Wine Region Historic Cultural Landscape; Hortobágy National Park - the Puszta; Budapest, including the Banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter and Andrássy Avenue;
  • Hungary / Slovakia: Caves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst;
  • India: Sun Temple, Konârak; Group of Monuments at Hampi; Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya; Elephanta Caves; Great Living Chola Temples; Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus); Mountain Railways of India;
  • Indonesia: Ujung Kulon National Park; Komodo National Park; Lorentz National Park; Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra; Sangiran Early Man Site;
  • Iran (Islamic Republic of): Pasargadae; Takht-e Soleyman;
  • Ireland: Archaeological Ensemble of the Bend of the Boyne;
  • Italy: Venice and its Lagoon;
  • Japan: Yakushima; Shirakami-Sanchi; Buddhist Monuments in the Horyu-ji Area; Shiretoko; Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji and Otsu Cities); Shrines and Temples of Nikko; Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range; Itsukushima Shinto Shrine; Himeji-jo;
  • Latvia: Historic Centre of Riga;
  • Lao People’s Democratic Republic: Town of Luang Prabang;
  • Lithuania: Vilnius Historic Centre;
  • Luxembourg: City of Luxembourg: its Old Quarters and Fortifications;
  • Malaysia: Kinabalu Park;
  • Mauritius: Aapravasi Ghat;
  • Mexico: Pre-Hispanic City of Teotihuacan; Historic Centre of Morelia; Earliest 16th-Century Monasteries on the Slopes of Popocatepetl; Historic Monuments Zone of Querétaro; Historic Fortified Town of Campeche; Franciscan Missions in the Sierra Gorda of Querétaro; Agave Landscape and the Ancient Industrial Facilities of Tequila; Whale Sanctuary of El Vizcaino; Ancient Maya City of Calakmul, Campeche; Archaeological Monuments Zone of Xochicalco; Historic Monuments Zone of Tlacotalpan; Pre-Hispanic City of Chichen-Itza; Historic Centre of Zacatecas; Historic Centre of Oaxaca and Archaeological Site of Monte Albán; Sian Ka’an; Luis Barragán House and Studio; Rock Paintings of the Sierra de San Francisco; Archaeological Zone of Paquimé, Casas Grandes; Historic Centre of Puebla; Historic Town of Guanajuato and Adjacent Mines; Pre-hispanic town of Uxmal; Hospicio Cabañas, Guadalajara; Islands and Protected Areas of the Gulf of California; Historic Centre of Mexico City and Xochimilco; Pre-Hispanic City and National Park of Palenque; El Tajin, Pre-Hispanic City;
  • Netherlands: Ir.D.F. Woudagemaal (D.F. Wouda Steam Pumping Station); Schokland and Surroundings; Droogmakerij de Beemster (Beemster Polder); Rietveld Schröderhuis (Rietveld Schröder House);
  • Nicaragua: Ruins of León Viejo;
  • Nigeria: Sukur Cultural Landscape;
  • Norway: Rock Art of Alta; Urnes Stave Church; Bryggen;
  • Oman: Archaeological Sites of Bat, Al-Khutm and Al-Ayn;
  • Pakistan: Taxila; Historical Monuments at Makli, Thatta; Rohtas Fort; Buddhist Ruins of Takht-i-Bahi and Neighbouring City Remains at Sahr-i-Bahlol;
  • Panama: Darien National Park; Archaeological Site of Panamá Viejo and Historic District of Panamá;
  • Paraguay: Jesuit Missions of La Santísima Trinidad de Paraná and Jesús de Tavarangue;
  • Peru: City of Cuzco; Chavin (Archaeological Site); Historic Centre of Lima; Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu;
  • Philippines: Historic town of Vigan;
  • South Africa: uKhahlamba / Drakensberg Park;
  • Switzerland: Abbey of St Gall; Benedictine Convent of St John at Müstair; Old City of Berne; Three Castles, Defensive Wall and Ramparts of the Market-Town of Bellinzona;
  • Thailand: Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex; Thungyai-Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuaries; Historic Town of Sukhothai and Associated Historic Towns; Ban Chiang Archaeological Site;
  • Turkey: Göreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia; Nemrut Dağ; Great Mosque and Hospital of Divriği; Hierapolis-Pamukkale;
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland: Blaenavon Industrial Landscape; Blenheim Palace; Canterbury Cathedral, St Augustine's Abbey, and St Martin's Church; Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd; City of Bath; Durham Castle and Cathedral; Giant's Causeway and Causeway Coast; Heart of Neolithic Orkney; Ironbridge Gorge; Maritime Greenwich; New Lanark; Old and New Towns of Edinburgh; Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites; Studley Royal Park including the Ruins of Fountains Abbey; Tower of London; St Kilda; Westminster Palace, Westminster Abbey and Saint Margaret's Church;
  • Uruguay: Historic Quarter of the City of Colonia del Sacramento;
  • Uzbekistan: Itchan Kala;
  • Venezuela : Coro and its Port; Ciudad Universitaria de Caracas;

4.  Decides that retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value for World Heritage properties in Danger will be reviewed by the Advisory Bodies in priority;

5.  Further decides that, considering the high number of retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value to be examined, the order in which they will be reviewed by the Advisory Bodies will follow the Second Cycle of Periodic Reporting, namely:

  • World Heritage properties in the Arab States;
  • World Heritage properties in Africa;
  • World Heritage properties in Asia and the Pacific;
  • World Heritage properties in Latin America and the Caribbean;
  • World Heritage properties in Europe and North America;

6.  Requests the World Heritage Centre to harmonise all sub-headings in the adopted Statements of Outstanding Universal Value where appropriate and when resources and staff time allow to carry out this work;

7.  Also requests the State Parties, Advisory Bodies and World Heritage Centre to ensure the use of gender-neutral language in the Statements proposed for adoption to the World Heritage Committee;

8.  Further requests the World Heritage Centre to keep the adopted Statements in line with subsequent decisions by the World Heritage Committee concerning name changes of World Heritage properties, and to reflect them throughout the text of the Statements, in consultation with States Parties and Advisory Bodies;

9.  Finally requests the States Parties to provide support to the World Heritage Centre for translation of the adopted Statements of Outstanding Universal Value into English or French respectively, and finally requests the Centre to upload these onto its web-pages.

Draft Decision:  37 COM 7B.97

The World Heritage Committee,

1.  Having examined Document WHC-13/37.COM/7B,

2.  Recalling Decision 35 COM 7B.124, adopted at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2010),

3.  Takes notes of the information provided by the State Party on the actions implemented in terms of enhancing the conservation and management of the property;

4.  Recommends that the State Party consider the implementation of the following measures:

a)  Integration of all existing planning tools into a management plan, with a clear management structure,

b)  Development of a single comprehensive conservation plan, with details on costs and timeframes for implementation at different heritage sectors, on the established guidelines and criteria for interventions on the anticipated changes in use,

c)  Development of a Heritage Impact Assessment concerning the option of a metro station at Plaza del Teatro and submission of the study to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies, before a final decision is made on the location of the subway station to serve the Historic Centre,

d)  Development of a heritage impact assessment, in accordance with ICOMOS Guidance on Heritage Impact Assessments for Cultural World Heritage Properties, for the proposed interventions at the architectural ensemble of the Compañía de Jesús;

5.  Also recommends that the State Party invite an ICOMOS advisory mission to evaluate the state of conservation of the property and the alternatives for location of the metro station and its related infrastructure and provide guidance on the development of the conservation plan and the integration of the planning tools;

6.  Urges the State Party to halt any process of approval or interventions on the subway station for the historic centre until an advisory mission is carried out and the World Heritage Committee examines its recommendation;

7.  Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2014, 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 38th session in 2014.

 

Report year: 2013
Ecuador
Date of Inscription: 1978
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iv)
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 37COM (2013)
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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