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City of Quito

Ecuador
Factors affecting the property in 2016*
  • Housing
  • Major visitor accommodation and associated infrastructure
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Underground transport infrastructure
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Development pressures affecting the authenticity of the property
  • Major visitor accommodation and associated infrastructure (works in the Tower of the Complex of the Compañía de Jesús)
  • Management systems (weaknesses in the decision-making mechanisms regarding conservation)
  • Transportation infrastructure (construction of underground lines and stations)
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2016
Requests approved: 16 (from 1981-1999)
Total amount approved : 391,800 USD
Missions to the property until 2016**

November 1988: expert mission; March 2009: World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission; October 2013: ICOMOS Advisory mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2016

In the course of 2014 and 2015, the State Party submitted information related to the Management Plan for the Historic Centre of Quito; Heritage Impact Assessments (HIA) on the subway station projects and the Jesuit Mission complex and the revitalization project for the Historic Centre and Integral proposal for the Jose Mejía street.

On 14 December 2015, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/2/documents/. Additional information regarding the HIA for the San Francisco station was submitted on 17 March 2016.

  • The State Party informs that a new city administration took office in May 2014 and that since then it has broadened the Commission of Historic Areas, strengthened inter-institutional coordination and has approved a new Metropolitan Plan for Development and Territorial Management 2015-2025 (PMDOT);
  • It stresses that the administration accepts all the recommendations made by the World Heritage Committee, the 2013 ICOMOS Advisory mission and ICOMOS technical reviews, and has acted accordingly;
  • The San Francisco subway station has gone through an optimization process of its design, which involves a reduction in building volume and a reduced impact. An extensive HIA has been completed. The State Party invited a new ICOMOS Advisory mission to verify the compliance of the recommendations and technical procedures;
  • Recommendations regarding the projects of new public spaces that may affect the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property have been accepted and a revision of plans is being undertaken;
  • The Metropolitan District of Quito adopted the new 2015-2025 PMDOT in February 2015, in which cultural heritage has been incorporated as one of the key axis within the concept of "compact city" and "sustainable development", with seven policies linked to the historic centre: heritage for development, resilience, preservation of heritage values, cultural diversity, housing, creativity and participatory management;
  • The 2013 Management Plan is being adjusted to link it to the PMDOT;
  • Housing policies are under elaboration with emphasis on subsidies and incentives to enable social housing production. Preliminary guidelines to prevent gentrification in the area of the San Francisco subway station are being developed;
  • The State Party indicates that priority actions include the revision/completion of the Comprehensive Management Plan, improvement regarding institutional and legal frameworks and the development of policies for housing.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2016

The very concise and complete state of conservation report and the commitment of the municipal administration to implement the recommendations of the Committee and the Advisory Bodies is welcomed. This constructive response will undoubtedly contribute to the conservation of the property and a sustainable development of the city and its historical centre.

The submission of detailed and pertinent information regarding the projects located within the boundaries of the property in the course of 2014 and 2015 is noted with appreciation, in particular the Management Plan as well as the HIA on the subway project (station at San Francisco Square) and on the revitalization of public spaces thus enabling ICOMOS to provide timely responses.

As for the management structure, the following can be highlighted as very positive developments:

  • The adoption of the PMDOT 2015-2025, which incorporates cultural heritage as one of the key elements, and the updating of the Management Plan currently under revision;
  • The revised composition of the new Commission for Historic Areas to include relevant heritage institutions.

Regarding the subway project, it is noted that the station at the San Francisco Square is the only station currently located within the historical centre and that extensive impact assessments and other studies have been completed. However, no alternative locations have been taken into consideration which makes it difficult to validate the decision as to the location of the station and its impact. In this context, the invitation made by the State Party for a new ICOMOS Advisory mission is highly welcomed.

Considering that the conservation and sustainable development of a historic city require an integrated and broad approach, it is recommended that the second Advisory mission assesses the response provided by the State Party to the recommendations of the 2013 mission and the ICOMOS technical reviews, also taking into account the 2011 UNESCO Recommendation on Historic Urban Landscapes (HUL). A review of the advances in the project for the Compañía de Jesús complex should also be considered.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2016
40 COM 7B.5
City of Quito (Ecuador) (C 2)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7B.43, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Commends the State Party for its commitment to implement the recommendations of the World Heritage Committee, the 2013 ICOMOS Advisory mission and the recent technical reviews;
  4. Welcomes the adoption of the Metropolitan Plan for Development and Territorial Management 2015-2025 (PMDOT) that explicitly incorporates cultural heritage as one of its key elements, and its alignment with the Management Plan and encourages the State Party to finalize the updating process of the Management Plan as soon as possible, and to submit it to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  5. Noting that subway project now includes only one station within the historical centre, precisely at the emblematic San Francisco Square, and that the Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) did not evaluate the potential impact of alternative locations, requests the State Party, before a final decision is taken on the Metro station location, to apply the HIA methodology to all potential alternative locations, to allow a thorough examination of the proposed options, and to submit the outcomes of this evaluation to the World Heritage Centre for review by ICOMOS;
  6. Welcomes the initiative of the State Party to invite a second ICOMOS Advisory mission to advise further, with a view to supporting the conservation and management of the property and facilitating the successful implementation of the subway project in a manner that will not adversely impact upon the OUV of the property;
  7. Recommends that the Terms of Reference of this Advisory mission include the review of the follow-up given by the State Party to earlier recommendations of the Committee and ICOMOS, the assessment of the new management and planning mechanisms, the subway project including alternative station locations and other matters raised by ICOMOS in the technical review of the HIA, as well as projects such as the Compañia de Jesús project among others, also taking into consideration the 2011 UNESCO Recommendation on Historic Urban Landscapes (HUL);
  8. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2017, 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 41st session in 2017.
Draft Decision: 40 COM 7B.5 

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7B.43, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Commends the State Party for its committment to implement the recommendations of the World Heritage Committee, the 2013 ICOMOS Advisory mission and the recent technical reviews;
  4. Welcomes the adoption of the Metropolitan Plan for Development and Territorial Management 2015-2025 (PMDOT) that explicitly incorporates cultural heritage as one of its key elements, and its alignment with the Management Plan and encourages the State Party to finalize the updating process of the Management Plan as soon as possible, and to submit it to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  5. Noting the submission of the Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) for the subway project which now includes only one station within the hisotorical centre, precisely at the emblematic San Francisco Square, and that the earlier projected station at the Theatre Square has been excluded, welcomes the initiative of the State Party to invite a second ICOMOS Advisory mission to advise on the latest developments and studies in this respect;
  6. Recommends that the Terms of Reference of this Advisory mission include the review of the folllow-up given by the State Party to earlier recommendations of the Committee and ICOMOS, the assessment of the new management and planning mechanisms, as well as of specific projects such as the Subway and the Compañia de Jesus projects among others, also taking into consideration the 2011 UNESCO Recommendation on Historic Urban Landscapes (HUL);
  7. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2017, 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 42nd session in 2018.
Report year: 2016
Ecuador
Date of Inscription: 1978
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iv)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2015) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 40COM (2016)
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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