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Historic Centre of Puebla

Mexico
Factors affecting the property in 2014*
  • Ground transport infrastructure
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Other Threats:

    Need to initiate a process for the recovery of the urban and social fabric of the property

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Urban pressure (issue resolved);
  • Lack of monitoring system (issue resolved);
  • Earthquake in 1999 (issue resolved).
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2014
Requests approved: 3 (from 1994-2009)
Total amount approved : 98,000 USD
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2014

In 2012, information on the Integral Project for motorways and bridges was received from the State Party and in 2013, information was received regarding the construction of a cable car. Additional information was requested by the World Heritage Centre and the State Party sent a response letter on 12 February 2014.

The original proposal for the construction of a cable car entailed significant impacts on the visual qualities of the property due to the location of high metallic towers that would be competing elements in the traditional skyline. Since works commenced without the authorization of the National Heritage Agency (INAH), a historic building “Casa del Torno” was demolished. Works have been suspended and the State Party informs that an alternative route, which will not go through the inscribed property, has been identified. It also notes that there will be restitution for the demolished building although it is not clear what this entails.

Challenges are being faced in the balance between the conservation needs of the Historic Centre and the demands of the growing metropolis of Puebla. On-going projects, such as the elevated motorways and interventions carried out under the Plan for Regeneration and Urban re-densification of the Monuments Zone and its surroundings, indicate that projects are developed in response to specific conditions rather than comprehensive, long-term sustainable strategies. The State Party reports that a single attention office, which would include the three levels of Government, is to be established to ensure that future projects do not compromise the property. In addition, it notes that a new council of experts has been set up since December 2013 to advise INAH.

It should be noted that the World Heritage Committee last examined the state of conservation of the property at its 28th session (Suzhou, 2004). At the time, it requested the State Party to finalise the Integral Plan for the rehabilitation of the Historic Centre of Puebla.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2014

Management and conservation tools for the property have not been sufficiently integrated and translated into a coherent policy for the property adopted by all levels of government.  Challenges being faced in the conservation of the Historic Centre call for the development and urgent implementation of holistic measures to initiate a process for the recovery of the urban and social fabric of the inscribed property, for the rehabilitation of traditional and historic buildings and spaces as well as for the conservation of the existing setting and landscape, crucial for the understanding of the significance of the property.  An overarching conservation strategy needs to respond to the morphology and characteristics of the area, in addition to the functional values of the Historic Centre and the attributes that warranted inscription on the World Heritage List, as well as the conditions of authenticity and integrity.  Actions should not be centred solely on the development of additional tourism facilities but rather enhance the functional values associated with a lively and liveable city.

The creation of a single attention office should be accompanied by the participatory articulation of planning tools, considering the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, to effectively guide all decision-making and ensure that potential developments do not negatively impact it.  Regulatory measures could include the development of Heritage Impact Assessments (HIA), in relation to the attributes of the property, to better inform design and decision-making.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2014
38 COM 7B.45
Historic Centre of Puebla (Mexico) (C 416)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 28 COM 15B.116, adopted at its 28th session (Suzhou, 2004),
  3. Takes notes of the information provided by the State Party regarding the alternative route for the cable car and management arrangements for the property;
  4. Notes the current challenges being faced in the conservation and management of the property and requests the State Party to:
    1. Articulate existing planning and conservation tools and establish a single conservation and management policy for the property to be adopted at the three involved levels of government,
    2. Further develop this policy into a participatory management plan and provide an electronic and three printed copies of this plan or management system for the property for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies,
    3. Submit, in accordance to Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines , technical details and location for large infrastructure development foreseen at the property, in particular revised proposals for the cable car, to the World Heritage Centre for review prior to commencing works;
  5. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2015, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016.
Draft Decision:            38 COM 7B.45

The World Heritage Committee,

1.         Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7B,

2.         Recalling Decision 28 COM 15B.116, adopted at its 28th session (Suzhou, 2004),

3.         Takes notes of the information provided by the State Party regarding the alternative route for the cable car and management arrangements for the property;

4.         Notes the current challenges being faced in the conservation and management of the property and requests the State Party to:

a)         Articulate existing planning and conservation tools and establish a single conservation and management policy for the property to be adopted at the three involved levels of government,

b)         Further develop this policy into a participatory management plan and provide an electronic and three printed copies of this plan or management system for the property for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies,

c)         Submit, in accordance to Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, technical details and location for large infrastructure development foreseen at the property, in particular revised proposals for the cable car, to the World Heritage Centre for review prior to commencing works;

5.         Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2016, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016.

Report year: 2014
Mexico
Date of Inscription: 1987
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iv)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2014) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 38COM (2014)
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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