Historic Centre of Vienna
Factors affecting the property in 2002*
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2002
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2002**
March 2002: ICOMOS expert mission; May 2002: World Heritage Centre mission
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2002
Since the inscription of the site on the World Heritage List, at the 25th session of the Committee (2001), the Secretariat has received many newspaper articles and letters concerning the controversial height of these buildings. A mission of the Director of the Centre to the site is scheduled from 24 to 27 May 2002. Further information will be provided at the time of the Committee session. In March 2002 an ICOMOS expert visited Vienna and participated in a public debate on the project as well as having discussions with several Viennese authorities. Although the height of the building project has been reduced to 97m the project remains controversial and will have a negative impact on the visual integrity of the Historic Centre of Vienna. An appeal has been made by a group of senior academic professors and may be taken to the High Court.
Summary of the interventions
Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2002
26 COM 21B.35
Historic Centre of Vienna (Austria)The World Heritage Committee,
1. Reiterates its recommendations made at its 25th session at the time of the inscription of the property;
2. Recalls paragraph 22 of the Operational Guidelines: "Where the intrinsic qualities of a property nominated are threatened by action of man and yet meet the criteria and conditions of authenticity or integrity...an action plan should be submitted with the nomination file. Should the corrective measures submitted by the nominating State not be taken within the time proposed by the State, the property will be considered by the Committee for delisting in accordance with the procedures adopted by the Committee.";
3. Expresses its serious concern about the Wien-Mitte urban development project, adjacent to the World Heritage site of Vienna and located in the buffer zone of the site, and in particular about the architectural solutions and the height of the proposed towers;
4. Recognizes the need to develop and rehabilitate the area above the Bahnhof and acknowledges that from the economic and urban transport point of view no major impacts on the World Heritage values of the protected zone are to be expected;
5. Requests the State Party to provide by 1 October 2002 detailed information demonstrating that the recommendations made by the Committee at the time of the inscription have been taken into account. In case the State Party cannot provide the assurance for an acceptable solution, which conforms with the Committee's recommendation, the Committee will start the process of delisting the site in accordance with the established procedures;
6. Strongly recommends to limit any future large redevelopment activities in the buffer zone;7. Expresses concern for the restoration practices currently observed in the Historic Centre, and requests the authorities to establish building renovation regulations and authorisation procedures appropriate to its status as a World Heritage property;
8. Recommends to the State Party to continue to improve its technical capacities in the field of historical building conservation, in order to ensure a more efficient control of any possible negative impacts. Timely information on planned interventions should be provided to the World Heritage Centre, in compliance with Paragraph 56 of the Operational Guidelines;
9. Decides to examine the situation at its 27th session in June/July 2003.
The Committee may wish to examine information that may be available at the time of its session and take the appropriate decision thereupon.
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”).