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Budapest, including the Banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter and Andrássy Avenue

Hungary
Factors affecting the property in 2017*
  • Deliberate destruction of heritage
  • Effects arising from use of transportation infrastructure
  • Housing
  • Identity, social cohesion, changes in local population and community
  • Legal framework
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Other Threats:

    Lack of conservation of residential housing in the area inscribed as World Heritage

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Demolition and inappropriate development in the buffer zone known as the ‘Jewish Quarter’
  • Inappropriate use of public areas and street amenities
  • Lack of conservation of residential housing in the area inscribed as World Heritage
  • Effects arising from use of transportation infrastructure (increased traffic volume)
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2017

Total amount provided: 800 million HUF (ca. 2.7 million EUR) EU support for the “Street of Culture” project 

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2017
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2017**

March 2005: World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Advisory mission; November 2007: ICOMOS Advisory mission; February 2013: joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2017

On 2 December 2016, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, the executive summary of which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/400/documents/. Progress on a number of issues regarding conservation issues addressed by the Committee at its previous session is presented in the report as follows:

  • Information concerning revised institutional and legal framework for the World Heritage, as well as the current status of the Management Plan of the property and the strategy for the extension of its buffer zone;
  • Detailed information regarding regulations and rules for concluding agreements by the Municipalities with partners (a Partnership Plan) established in order to prevent serious deterioration of architectural and urban coherence;
  • Information about a system of Budapest Metropolitan Building Renovation Grants and District grants;
  • Reports regarding several completed, on-going and planned projects, including: the Royal Garden Bazaar project, the Kossuth Lajos Square renovation project and the Liget Budapest project, the National Hauszmann Plan (projects in the area of the Buda Castle Quarter), the Pest embankment, the former Radetzky barracks, the planned temporary sporting structures, RAK-PARK project (renovation of the section of downtown Pest along the Danube between Kossuth Square and Fővám Square) and the Hospitaller’s Order Hospital project;
  • Numerous Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs) submitted for evaluation by the Advisory Bodies, amounting to thousands of pages, much in Hungarian.

The report also foreshadows potential additional developments related to the State Party’s bid to host the Summer Olympics in 2024, noting that in May 2016, the State Party provided notice of its intention to authorize constructions within property Budapest, on the banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter and Andràssi Avenue, for the purposes of Olympic venues, entertainment and social facilities and temporary changes.

In February 2017, the State Party submitted additional detailed information to the previous report submitted in June 2016 regarding proposals for an extensive campaign of restoration/reconstruction works within the Buda Castle Quarter - the ‘National Hauszmann Plan’. The areas affected by the Plan include the Royal Palace district and Saint George square, the Civic Town, Szentháromság Square, Viennese Gate, Erdélyi Bastion, some areas beyond the castle and the Castle Quarter’s defensive constructions.

On 4 May 2017, the State Party also submitted clarifications regarding the planned skyscraper in the District 11th of Budapest.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2017

In accordance with the Governmental Resolution 1312/2016 (VI. 13.), the Gyula National Heritage Preservation and Property Management Center, operated as a mid-level governing body for heritage preservation, ceased to exist on 1 January 2017. Its tasks will be taken over by several legal successor organizations, and it is expected that the World Heritage tasks will come under the jurisdiction of the Prime Minister’s Office.

The new public procurement process regarding the elaboration of the Management Plan, inducing possible extension of the buffer zone, which will be conducted by the Prime Minister’s Office, is expected to take place in 2017. While a moratorium on the issuing of permits for demolitions and construction within the property was not introduced, the State Party advised that the so-called ban on alterations exists or existed in several districts of the city.

It is recommended that the Committee encourage the State Party to finalize the Management Plan of the property, as well as to implement all relevant measures and plans, defining appropriate degrees of intervention for each element of the property, to support the appropriate implementation of its decisions in order to prevent any threats to its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV).

In June 2016, the State Party submitted a briefing report on proposals for an extensive campaign of restoration/reconstruction works within the Buda Castle Quarter - the ‘National Hauszmann Plan’. The areas affected by the Plan include the Royal Palace district and Saint George square, the Civic Town, Szentháromság Square, Viennese Gate, Erdélyi Bastion, some areas beyond the castle and the Castle Quarter’s defensive constructions. In view of the number and variety of the planned interventions, ranging from the architectural restoration of monuments and reconstruction of buildings, to contemporary interventions and urban infrastructure projects, the State Party has invited an ICOMOS Advisory mission. The mission shall review and analyze all the documentation for all revised, planned, ongoing or implemented projects submitted by the State Party, such as completed Royal Garden Bazaar project, completed Kossuth Square development project, modified Liget Budapest project, RAK-PARK project and National Hauszmann Plan for the Buda Castle Quarter, developments proposed as part of the 2024 Summer Olympics bid, including all HIAs.

On 13 December 2016, the Secretariat transmitted to the State Party, for comments, information concerning a high-rise building construction received from a third party. The State Party clarifications of 3 May 2017 are noted, and in particular that in December 2016, the Assembly of the Municipality of Budapest had modified the setting regulation of Budapest to allow buildings up to 120 metre high in the 11th District. The Prime Minister's Office responsible for the protection of cultural heritage - including World Heritage –does not consider that this revision properly reflects World Heritage rules and is also not  in favor of the specific proposed high rise construction for the adverse impact it would have on the cityscape.  So far, no request for building permission has been requested.

It is recommended that the World Heritage Committee request the State Party, should the conclusions of the analysis by the Advisory mission indicate any potential negative impact on the OUV of the property, to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission to the property to assess the potential impact of the developments proposed on the OUV of the property. Meanwhile, it is also recommended that the Committee request the State Party to halt further permissions for major projects.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2017
41 COM 7B.46
Budapest, including the Banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter and Andrássy Avenue (Hungary) (C 400bis)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 39 COM 7B.79, adopted at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
  3. Welcomes the efforts made by the State Party to improve the protection of all components of the property and its buffer zone and encourages it to sustain these efforts to prevent any loss of authenticity and integrity due to the planned developments in the property or its buffer zone which could constitute a threat to the property;
  4. Nonetheless express concern at the modification to the setting regulations of Budapest approved by the Municipality of Budapest in December 2016 to allow tall buildings up to 120 metre height in the 11th District, part of the wider setting of the property, which would adversely impact on World Heritage cityscape and protected views, and urges the State Party to consider how World Heritage protection can take precedent over this regulation;
  5. Reiterates its request that the State Party finalize, as soon as possible, the Management Plan of the property, including details of the protective measures and reference to decision making framework in regulatory regimes, as well as a proposal for enlargement of the buffer zone and submit it to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  6. Notes with concern that a number of large-scale development projects proposed within the property, its buffer zone and its wider setting which may substantially impact on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property;
  7. Noting that the State Party invited an ICOMOS Advisory mission in order to review and analyze all ongoing and planned interventions, recommends that this mission take place by end of 2017 and also urges the State Party to halt further permissions for major projects until this assessment has been undertaken;
  8. Should the conclusions of the analysis by the Advisory mission indicate any potential negative impact on the OUV of the property, also requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission to the property to assess the potential impact of the developments proposed on the OUV of the property, in light of the conclusion of the analysis by the Advisory mission;
  9. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2018, 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 43rd session in 2019.
Draft Decision: 41 COM 7B.46

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 39 COM 7B.79, adopted at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
  3. Welcomes the efforts made by the State Party to improve the protection of all components of the property and its buffer zone and encourages it to sustain these efforts to prevent any loss of authenticity and integrity due to the planned developments in the property or its buffer zone which could constitute a threat to the property;
  4. Nonetheless express concern at the modification to the setting regulations of Budapest approved by the Municipality of Budapest in December 2016 to allow tall buildings up to 120 metre height in the 11th District, part of the wider setting of the property, which would adversely impact on World Heritage cityscape and protected views, and urges the State Party to consider how World Heritage protection can take precedent over this regulation;
  5. Reiterates its request that the State Party finalize, as soon as possible, the Management Plan of the property, including details of the protective measures and reference to decision making framework in regulatory regimes, as well as a proposal for enlargement of the buffer zone and submit it to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  6. Notes with concern that a number of large-scale development projects proposed within the property, its buffer zone and its wider setting which may substantially impact on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property;
  7. Noting that the State Party invited an ICOMOS Advisory mission in order to review and analyze all ongoing and planned interventions, recommends that this mission take place by end of 2017 and also urges the State Party to halt further permissions for major projects until this assessment has been undertaken;
  8. Should the conclusions of the analysis by the Advisory mission indicate any potential negative impact on the OUV of the property, also requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission to the property to assess the potential impact of the developments proposed on the OUV of the property, in light of the conclusion of the analysis by the Advisory mission;
  9. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2018, 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 43rd session in 2019.
Report year: 2017
Hungary
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 41COM (2017)
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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