Year of inscription on the World Heritage List 2005
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/1170/documents/
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 9,348
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1170/assistance/
UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds
Previous monitoring missions
May 2009: World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission
Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports
a) Gradual changes to the urban fabric: construction and restoration projects
b) Inappropriate urban development
c) Major changes to the property’s skyline through the construction of the new Cathedral of the Assumption
d) High rise projects
Illustrative material see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1170/
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2011
The State Party submitted a 2009/2010 state of conservation report which provides information on thirteen construction and development projects and an additional eight restoration projects being undertaken in 2009 and early 2010. The report did not include a detailed progress report on the implementation of the recommendations of the May 2009 World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission, as requested by the Committee at its 33rd session.
a) New Constructions and Developments with the property
The construction projects mentioned in the report include the following, some of which such as the Cathedral and the bridge, have already been completed:
1. Museum and Exhibition Complex with engineering infrastructure at Volga Embankment near house #32v (project listed as suspended)
2. Cultural and Entertainment Centre with engineering infrastructure at 3 Pervomayskaya Street (project listed as suspended)
3. Hotel with engineering infrastructure at 4 Pervomaysky Lane
4. Administrative Building and Residential House with engineering infrastructure at 12 Tereshkova Street
5. Construction (reconstitution) of Cathedral of Assumption with engineering infrastructure at Peace Boulevard
6. Residential house with offices, underground car parking and engineering infrastructure at Tereshkova Street in the vicinity of house #29a
7. Construction of 3-4-storey residential house with car parking and engineering infrastructure at Respublikanskaya Street in vicinity of house #47
8. Multi-storey car parking with engineering infrastructure with café, maintenance shop, car wash in the block at Bolshaya Oktaybrskaya Street, Mukomolny Lane, Kotorsl Embankment, Respublikanskaya Street
9. Hotel with engineering infrastructure at 9 Kooperativnaya Street
10. Multi-storey residential house with engineering infrastructure at October Avenue in the vicinity of house #5
11. Reconstruction of residential house with superstructure above carport for gym with amenity rooms and offices at 22 Sobinov Street (construction is not carried out)
12. Construction of Junction and Reinforced Concrete Bridge across Kotorosl River with Engineering Infrastructure
13. Yaroslavl Millennium Monument
Information provided includes photographs of the sites in question; elevations and or architectural renderings of the proposed construction (but not within its larger urban context), the name of the developer, and the approval status of the project in regard to the various Russian planning authorities and the “Russian World Heritage Committee”.
The report also notes that one of the main reconstruction areas is the Volga embankment area. Work to be undertaken includes the construction of a recreation area, the addition of a “fountain zone”, the redevelopment and landscaping of the entire area, and the construction of the already-mentioned Yaroslavl Millennium Monument. The report also describes a project for the enhancement of transport including the above-mentioned bridge across the Kotorosl River and the construction of a “new modern transport junction”.
The documentation provided, however, does not include any detailed project documents, any analysis of the projects within their larger context, nor any cultural heritage impact assessments for the major new constructions/urban developments mentioned in the report,, in terms of their impact on Outstanding Universal Value. In its report, the State Party notes that historic, town-planning and landscape analyses were implemented prior to the “area reconstruction,” without providing any details of those analyses.
In regard to the Cathedral of the Assumption, the State Party underlined that its reconstruction has a particular importance for reconstruction of historic appearance of the central part of Yaroslavl, and that the Cathedral’s skyline is one of the organizing verticals in the historic city panorama. The report states that areas near the cathedral will also be subject to reconstruction and redevelopment.
In March 2011, the World Heritage Centre received further information from civil society groups that the two level bridge across the Kotorosl River had been completed and that a further development project along the Kotorosl river bank is in the process of implementation. This information also stated that a hotel had been constructed instead of the historical park, and that more than ten other new constructions were underway within the boundary of the Historical Centre of the City of Yaroslavl and its buffer zone.
In April 2011, the State Party submitted to the World Heritage Centre project documents for a five-star Hotel planned in the vicinity of the Cathedral of Assumption and a number of other historic buildings in the central part of the World Heritage property, which is under review by the Advisory Bodies.
In regard to the management of the property, the State Party report does not contain any information in regard to the overall management system and legal protection for the property. Neither is there information on how planning permissions are granted or how coordination is carried out between stakeholders and authorities at different levels, as requested during the 2009 joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS mission. The State Party has reported that the Russian World Heritage Committee has been empowered by the State Party as the official national coordination centre for conservation and management of World Heritage properties in the Russian Federation. The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Body remained concerned however, that while the Russian World Heritage Committee reviews and makes recommendations on major development projects, that these projects are not being submitted to the World Heritage Centre in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines.
On 21 April 2011, the World Heritage Centre formally requested the State Party by letter and during a meeting with national authorities that any consideration, review and recommendations for implementation of projects, if issued by the Russian National World Heritage Committee or its Departments, should include a clear notice indicating that they do not imply or replace, in any way, the review by the World Heritage Committee, as required by the Operational Guidelines.
Furthermore, the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies express concern that the State Party report did not provide any updated information on the first stage of the implementation of a general development strategy for city planning until 2030 within the framework of the Urban Master Plan for Yaroslavl established in 2006, nor the regulatory act regarding the conservation area of the property initiated in 2008.
On 3 May 2011, the World Heritage Centre reiterated its concern to the State Party about the lack of information in response to the Committee’s decision adopted at its 33rd session, and in particular information related to the management system and regulatory frameworks. Thee State Party was requested to provide this information as a matter of urgency.
Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM
The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies note that the property was inscribed under criteria (ii) and (iv), with its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) based on both the town planning scheme from the 18th century and the presence of architectural monuments from the 16th and the 17th centuries. Sustaining OUV, therefore, relies to a great extent on maintaining the original planning and spatial relationships, as well as ensuring that any new construction -respect the designs and materials of the existing buildings and does not overwhelm the architectural monuments or confuse the spatial planning.
The World Heritage Centre and Advisory Bodies further note that since its inscription in 2005, the Committee has expressed concern about the new developments in the property and its buffer zone in order to protect its OUV. In the findings of the 2009 joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS mission and the decision of the World Heritage Committee at its 33rd session (Seville, 2009) concern was expressed that the ongoing new construction projects at the property could have a negative impact on the OUV. Particular concern was expressed for the horizontality of the skyline with regard to the construction of a new Cathedral of the Assumption.
The Committee further requested the State Party to provide information to the World Heritage Centre on all major projects with the boundaries of the property in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines. Despite this request by the Committee as well as ongoing contacts with the State Party by the World Heritage Centre, the State Party has not provided adequate information in regard to the ongoing, fast pace of urban development in within the World Heritage property.
The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies are extremely concerned at the number of hotel, apartment building, and parking garage developments presented in the report, as well as the bridge construction project at the Kotorosl river, and the “Yaroslavl Millennium Monument”.
As the report provides no detailed information on the materials to be used or the physical context, it is not possible to understand in detail how they fit into the surrounding urban environment. Further, the report does not make clear what the state of construction is for many of these projects. Some seem to already be in a state of construction or completion. Nevertheless what is indicated is the extremely extensive nature of the proposed development within the property.
From the information available, the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies consider that the large number and scale of the new projects within the World Heritage property may have already caused a significant negative and possibly irreversible impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property in relation to the town planning scheme from the 18th century, and the architectural monuments from the 16th and the 17th centuries.
In addition these major projects have not been referred to the World Heritage Centre in compliance with paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, and there is a lack of information in regard to the management system in place to be able to control such developments.
In recognition of all these factors, the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies consider that the property is faced with serious deterioration of its architectural and town-planning coherence, and that it is therefore facing an ascertained danger to its OUV as defined by Paragraph 179 of the Operational Guidelines.
The World Heritage Committee may therefore wish to consider the inscription of the property on the World Heritage List in Danger and request the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission to the property to develop, with the State Party, a Desired state of conservation and necessary corrective measures for the removal of the property from the World Heritage List in Danger. This mission should also review the existing management system and decision-making mechanisms for the property, including legislative and regulatory framework, institutional arrangements and existing planning tools.
Decision Adopted: 35 COM 7B.103
The World Heritage Committee,
1. Having examined Document WHC-11/35.COM/7B.Add,
2. Recalling Decision 33 COM 7B.120, adopted at its 33rd session (Seville, 2009),
3. Takes notes of the information provided by the State Party in its state of conservation report and expresses its deep concern about interventions carried out by the State Party, as well as a large number of completed and proposed development and construction projects that have not been submitted to the World Heritage Centre in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
4. Reiterates its utmost concern about the lack of follow-up in response to the 2009 reactive monitoring mission recommendations, and in particular the:
a) establishment and approval, in conformity with the official juridical documents, of the process of review and delivery of the building permissions within the boundary of the property and its buffer zone,
b) official submission of all projects which could impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property to the World Heritage Centre, for review, prior to any approval and delivery of the building permissions,
c) transparency of the planning and decision making processes,
d) designation by the Federal authorities of the administration in charge of the process of monitoring of the state of conservation of the property,
e) adequate human resources for the management and monitoring of the property,
f) establishment of a limitation for excessive use and opening of underground spaces within the boundaries of the World Heritage property and its buffer zone,
g) avoidance of the use of new and inappropriate materials (such as metal and glass) as main materials on the facades,
h) implementation of restrictions of outdoor advertisements;
5. Strongly reiterates its requests to submit to the World Heritage Centre information on any construction or development projects that may have an impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property in conformance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines and requests the State Party to halt any such ongoing projects which may have an impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, until these projects can be submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by the World Heritage Committee;
6. Strongly urges the State Party to establish an appropriate management system for the property to handle planning permissions in a clear and transparent manner, and to ensure that there is an effective coordination between the authorities concerned and stakeholders;
7. Expresses serious concern that the ongoing changes to the horizontal urban skyline, and the quantity and scale of new construction and development projects within the property have had a negative impact on the urban planning scheme of the 18th century and the architectural monuments of the 16th and 17th centuries, and therefore constituting an ascertained threat to the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;
8. Also requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission to the Historic Centre of Yaroslavl to assess the state of conservation of the property. This mission should also review the existing management system and decision-making mechanism for the property, including legislative and regulatory framework, institutional arrangements and existing planning tools;
9. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2012, a state of conservation report for the property that addresses the above points for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 36th session in 2012.