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Historic Centre of Puebla

Mexico
Factors affecting the property in 2016*
  • Ground transport infrastructure
  • Major visitor accommodation and associated infrastructure
  • Management systems/ management plan
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Urban pressure (issue resolved)
  • Major visitor accommodation and associated infrastructure
  • Lack of monitoring system (issue resolved)
  • Earthquake in 1999 (issue resolved)
  • Ground transport infrastructure
  • Management systems
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2016
Requests approved: 3 (from 1994-2009)
Total amount approved : 98,000 USD
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2016

On 10 March 2016, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation (available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/416/documents/), which includes a letter from the Director of World Heritage Department/Section of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), dated 2 March 2016, regarding the cable car project and the Casa del Torno, and provides the following information:

  • In 2014, the Municipal Government created the Historic Centre and Cultural Heritage Administration with the aim to preserve, protect and enhance the Historic Centre and heritage sites, as well as promote private and public investment for urban rehabilitation projects, research, coordination among institutions and the participation of citizens and to develop the Management Plan of the Partial Programme of Sustainable Urban Development of the Municipality of Puebla (Programa Parcial de Desarrollo Urbano Sustentable del Municipio de Puebla), among others;
  • In September 2015, the Partial Programme was approved. It regulates, among others, the population density (from 50 to 270 households per hectare); building heights, considering 15 meters as the maximum height; and a new definition of the compatibility of the use of the soil as well as intervention criteria to ensure the conservation and protection of the immovable heritage;
  • Regarding the proposal for the cable car project, the original plan was considerably revised and its length was reduced from 2 kilometers to 665 meters as well as the number of towers from three to two (at the departure and arrival platforms). The platforms are now constructed in a reversible and relatively open metal structure. An analysis of the views from the Historic Centre demonstrated no serious impact on its urban landscape. In conclusion, the project addresses the observations made by INAH and does no threat the integrity and authenticity of the property neither does it pose a risk to the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) and the historic urban landscape of the World Heritage property;
  • Regarding the demolition and construction at the site of the Casa del Torno, the project has been meticulously revised and adapted to the observations of INAH and subsequently approved by the local authorities.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2016

Regarding the management and planning arrangements at the property, the report provides complete information on the measures taken at the municipal level and on the improved articulation of planning instruments. The creation of the Historic Centre and Cultural Heritage Administration in 2014 should be welcomed. It should be noted that among its functions, it has the responsibility to develop the Management Plan of the Partial Programmes of the Historic Centre in concordance with the Municipal Programme for Sustainable Urban Development, the Strategic Plan for Tourism and other relevant regulations. The arrangements that have been put in place create the framework for coordination and interaction between the various planning tools and levels of authority. The development of these planning tools and urban policies into a participatory management plan remains to be undertaken.

As for the Partial Programme of Sustainable Urban Development, approved in September 2015, it is noted with satisfaction that height regulations are included as well as the increase in population density with the aim to promote a repopulation of the Historic Centre. Major private investments in the centre should also be recognized.

Regarding the cable car project, the significant changes made to the original proposal (length, number of towers, location and design of the platforms) are noted, as well as the visual analysis developed. It is also noted that INAH reassures that the cable car does not affect or threaten the OUV. However, the letter from the Director of World Heritage of INAH and the three aerial photographs/maps attached to it are considered insufficient information to enable a proper assessment of the immediate impact of the cable car project at the Cerro de Acuemayetepec and the fortifications of Loreto and Guadelupe, and the visual impact from the Historic Centre itself. It is observed that one of the towers and its platform are located within the boundary of the World Heritage property, and the second one just outside. It is therefore highly regrettable that the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies were not given the opportunity to review the project prior to the works commencing and that the construction of the cable car has been concluded. It is therefore recommended that the World Heritage Committee request the State Party to submit the complete assessment carried out by INAH for the project. These should be provided as soon as possible and no later than 1 September 2016, so that they can be evaluated by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2016
40 COM 7B.7
Historic Centre of Puebla (Mexico) (C 416)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7B.45, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014);
  3. Regrets that the State Party submitted most of the relevant information of its state of conservation report in Spanish, and not in one of the working languages of the World Heritage Convention (English and French);
  4. Congratulates the State Party for the establishment of the Historic Centre and Cultural Heritage Administration and for the process developed within this framework to ensure the interaction and coordination among different levels of government and management and planning tools;
  5. Noting that one of the tasks of the Historic Centre and Cultural Heritage Administration is to develop a management plan for the World Heritage property, recommends that this be considered as a priority action and requests the State Party to submit an electronic and three printed copies of the finalized management plan for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies;
  6. Strongly regrets that the cable car construction has been completed and that the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies were not given the opportunity to review the project prior to commencing the works, as should have been the case, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  7. Notes however the information provided by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) that the cable car does not pose a threat to the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV), including its integrity and authenticity and, in spite of its completion, also requests the State Party to submit, as soon as possible and in any case no later than 1 September 2016, the complete assessment carried out by INAH, for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies;
  8. Further 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.
Draft Decision: 40 COM 7B.7

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7B.45, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014);
  3. Regrets that the State Party submitted most of the relevant information of its state of conservation report in Spanish, and not in one of the working languages of the World Heritage Convention (English and French);
  4. Congratulates the State Party for the establishment of the Historic Centre and Cultural Heritage Administration and for the process developed within this framework to ensure the interaction and coordination among different levels of government and management and planning tools;
  5. Noting that one of the tasks of the Historic Centre and Cultural Heritage Administration is to develop a management plan for the World Heritage property, recommends that this be considered as a priority action and requests the State Party to submit an electronic and three printed copies of the finalized management plan for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies;
  6. Strongly regrets that the cable car construction has been completed and that the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies were not given the opportunity to review the project prior to commencing the works, as should have been the case, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  7. Notes however the information provided by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) that the cable car does not pose a threat to the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV), including its integrity and authenticity and, in spite of its completion, also requests the State Party to submit, as soon as possible and in any case no later than 1 September 2016, the complete assessment carried out by INAH, for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies;
  8. Further 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
Mexico
Date of Inscription: 1987
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iv)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2016) .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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