1.         Historic Centre of Puebla (Mexico) (C 416)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1987

Criteria  (ii)(iv)

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/416/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1994-2009)
Total amount approved: USD 98,000
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/416/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

October 2003: ICOMOS Reactive Monitory mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/416/

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:

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM

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.

Decision Adopted: 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.