Year of inscription on the World Heritage List 1988
Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger N/A
Previous Committee Decisions see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/381/documents/
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/381/assistance/
UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds
Previous monitoring missions
March 2002: ICOMOS mission; February 2009: joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission
Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports
a) Urban development pressure (Projects at “Huerto de las Adoratrices”, “Plaza de los Bandos” and “Vaguada de la Palma”);
b) Lack of comprehensive Management Plan.
Illustrative material see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/381/
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2012
Since 2002, the World Heritage Committee has been expressing concern about the lack of a comprehensive Management Plan and various urban development projects, in particular the “Huerto de las Adoratrices”, the “Plaza de los Bandos” and the “Vaguada de la Palma”. In January 2012, the State Party submitted documentation regarding the state of conservation of the Old City of Salamanca, consisting of a letter from the City Council of Salamanca on the current state of urban development projects mentioned in Decision 34 COM 7B.99, and of a summary of the draft World Heritage property Management Plan. It also submitted a draft retrospective Statement of Outstanding Universal Value for the property.
On 3 March 2012, the World Heritage Centre received a detailed document from a local NGO providing information about the status of the local planning documents and several urban development projects.
a) Management Plan
The English summary of the property Management Plan outlines the rationale of the plan and the relevant documents and tools in place, such as the General Urban Development Plan (PGOU) and the Special Plan for the Protection of the Historical Area (PEPCH), which is under preparation. The outline includes an analysis of the property’s criteria for inscription without, however, referring to the draft retrospective Statement of Outstanding Universal Value submitted to the World Heritage Centre on 1 February 2012.
While the State Party report does not provide any information on the legal status of the Management Plan in relation to the municipal urban planning documents, it confirms that the document was jointly prepared by the Regional Government and Local City Council. It further states that the legally binding PGOU was approved in line with the goals of the Management Plan and that the “Special Plan for the Protection of the Historical Area” would have to take into consideration the provisions of the Management Plan. The summary includes chapters on the designation of different functional zones (called “management areas”) of the city and on management tools. It also addresses the recommendations of the 2009 mission regarding the revision of the boundaries of the property and its buffer zone. On 4 May 2012 the State Party also provided the complete draft Management Plan in Spanish, which is being reviewed by the Advisory Bodies.
The information received from the NGO recalls that the only currently valid, legally binding planning document is the PGOU, approved by the City Council in 2007 and that the PEPCH, mandatory under regional legislation and the importance of which was underlined by the 2009 reactive monitoring mission, has not yet been finalized. The NGO points out that there is a deficiency in conservation measures due to several individual modifications to the PGOU made in favor of development projects, and that the city still lacks a Transport and Mobility Plan. It further reports that the elaboration process for the property Management Plan has been lacking transparency and citizen participation.
b) Urban Development Projects
In its letter, the City Council of Salamanca states that none of the three urban development projects has been carried out at the time of reporting:
According to the information provided by the NGO, although the above-mentioned projects have been suspended or abandoned, this has been done without withdrawing the development approvals in the modified PGOU. The following additional development projects, currently considered within the boundaries of the property, are considered as being problematic: housing constructions at the Cerro de San Vicente, the extension of the University’s Department of Geography and History, as well as modifications to the Convent of the Franciscanas.
Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM
The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies take note of the progress accomplished in the preparation of the Management Plan. They are of the view that it is crucial to ensure that the Special Plan for Protection of the Historical Area (PEPCH) be finalized and approved as soon as possible so as to provide a legally binding tool to reinforce the Management Plan of the property. It is therefore suggested that the draft Management Plan be reviewed by the Advisory Bodies and the PEPCH be submitted for information in order to ensure that both plans and their provisions for any potential urban development proposals in the property and its buffer zone are in accordance with the Statement of Outstanding Universal Value.
Further, the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies note that all valid development permits for the suspended development projects should be revised. They also recommend to the World Heritage Committee to express concern that currently, the only valid, legally binding planning documents (PGOU) can be modified in favour of single development projects.
Decision Adopted: 36 COM 7B.87
The World Heritage Committee,
1. Having examined Document WHC-12/36.COM/7B,
2. Recalling Decision 34 COM 7B.99, adopted at its 34th session (Brasilia, 2010),
3. Takes note of the draft Management Plan of the property and requests the State Party to take into account the results of its review by the Advisory Bodies;
4. Also takes note that the State Party has submitted a draft retrospective Statement of Outstanding Universal Value for the property;
5. Urges the State Party to complete, as soon as possible, the Special Plan for Protection of the Historical Area mandated by regional legislation (2002) which will take into consideration the provisions of the Management Plan and to submit it to the World Heritage Centre;
6. Expresses its satisfaction that the State Party has decided to abandon the “Plaza de los Bandos” project, and to suspend the “Huerto de las Adoratrices” and the “Vaguada de la Palma” projects, and also requests the State Party to revoke the relevant planning decisions;
7. Also urges the State Party to inform the World Heritage Centre in due course about any plans to resume the above projects and any other major development projects that may negatively impact the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, before any irreversible commitments are made, in line with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines.
Decision Adopted: 36 COM 8D
The World Heritage Committee,
1. Having examined Document WHC-12/36.COM/8D,
2. Recalling Decision 35 COM 8D adopted at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011),
3. Acknowledges the excellent work accomplished by States Parties in the clarification of the delimitation of their World Heritage properties and thanks them for their efforts to improve the credibility of the World Heritage List;
4. Recalls that the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies will not be able to examine proposals for minor or significant modifications to boundaries of World Heritage properties whenever the delimitation of such properties as inscribed is unclear;
5. Takes note of the clarifications of property boundaries and areas provided by the following States Parties in response to the Retrospective Inventory, as presented in the Annex of Document WHC-12/36.COM/8D:
6. Requests the States Parties which have not yet answered the questions raised in the framework of the Retrospective Inventory to provide all clarifications and documentation as soon as possible and by 1 December 2012 at the latest.