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Kasbah of Algiers

Algeria
Factors affecting the property in 2017*
  • Changes in traditional ways of life and knowledge system
  • Erosion and siltation/ deposition
  • Land conversion
  • Management activities
  • Management systems/ management plan
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Natural erosion
  • Lack of maintenance of dwelling places
  • Loss of traditional conservation techniques
  • Uncontrolled land use
  • Non-operational safeguarding plan
  • Lack of coordination of actions
  • Changes in traditional ways of life and knowledge system
  • Land conversion
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2017

Total amount provided to the property: USD 100,000 for an international experts meeting on the safeguarding of the Kasbah of Algiers (Japanese funds-in-trust)

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2017
Requests approved: 5 (from 1993-2002)
Total amount approved : 92,600 USD
Missions to the property until 2017**

September 2001: World Heritage Centre Reactive Monitoring mission; from November 2007 to November 2009: Six World Heritage Centre missions financed by the State Party for the Safeguarding Plan and the issue of the metro. June 2015: World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Advisory mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2017

On 29 November 2016, a report on the state of conservation of the property was submitted by the State Party. A summary of this report is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/565/documents. This report presents a progress report on the implementation of the "plan of attack" launched in the second quarter of 2014 and a list of actions taken since the last report on the state of conservation of the property, at the beginning of 2015, as follows:

  • Field surveys conducted in 2015 and 2016 indicate that the number of empty plots and ruined buildings in the property has increased. The advanced state of degradation also appears to concern public space and certain networks such as sanitation, water supply, electricity and gas. Intervention on occupied buildings is complicated by the need to relocate residents temporarily or permanently. The completion of this operation is contingent on habitat actions at the national level. The legal status of immovable property in private law constitutes a major obstacle to the intervention of the responsible authorities, in particular in the case of properties abandoned by their owners or when it is impossible to identify them. To this is added the question of properties dependent on the religious authorities or Awqaf.
  • The State Party has transferred responsibility for the implementation of the Permanent Plan for the Safeguarding and Valorization of the Safeguarded Sector (PPSMVSS) as well as the significant public funds allocated to its implementation, from the Ministry of Culture to the Wilaya of Algiers.
  • Concerning the proposed metro station located on the Place des Martyrs, the report refers to the one submitted by the State Party on 30 November 2015 concerning archaeological excavations and the initiation of studies on the process for the museological display of the archaeological vestiges discovered. The full report on the preventive excavation operation announced for the year 2016 in the report of 30 November 2015 was not transmitted to the World Heritage Centre.
  • Finally, it should be noted that an international experts meeting on the safeguarding of the Kasbah of Algiers will be organized jointly by the World Heritage Centre and the Ministry of Culture of Algeria before the end of 2017, with funding from the Government of Japan.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2017

The report submitted by the State Party shows that it is making significant efforts to improve the state of conservation of the property and is taking the necessary measures to this end.

It should be noted that although the Wilaya was responsible for the implementation of the PPSMVSS, coordination between the many actions carried out remains the major challenge both for the effectiveness of the PPSMVSS and for the effectiveness of the system put in place. The multiplicity of institutional actors adds an additional level of complexity to the process of safeguarding the property. The intersectoral action that has been established, notably through committees, specialized subcommittees and a counselling unit, is an important step towards the effective implementation of the PPSMVSS, but it is crucial to clarify the structure and mechanisms of this action and to establish a timetable for its implementation. Legal issues relating to private law are an essential point to be addressed, and it is appropriate that a study has been launched to clarify the situation concerning the property and to find durable solutions guaranteeing the maintenance of a social and economic fabric without which the Kasbah would be emptied of its inhabitants and its urban functions. This concerns, in particular, empty plots which, besides the legal dimension, pose a major challenge in relation to the structural integrity of the Kasbah (strong slope of the terrain) and their treatment on an urban scale (reconstruction of buildings or transformation into empty areas).

The actions undertaken to renovate the electricity network, manage garbage disposal and clean up the public space are all initiatives that, while not directly affecting the heritage elements of the Kasbah, are essential to improving the state of conservation of the property as an urban entity. This underlines the necessity to approach the Kasbah not only from the patrimonial point of view but also taking into account all the urban components that compose it. This implies that the numerous operations carried out in the property can be analyzed in a global approach, on the scale of the territory of the Kasbah and the neighbouring districts. This would provide an overview of the state of conservation of the property in all its dimensions and on the basis of the relationships between the latter. To this end, the historic urban landscape approach, carried out by the 2011 UNESCO Recommendation, remains the most appropriate tool.

It is recommended that the meeting of experts on the safeguarding of the Kasbah address all key issues relating to the conservation and management of the property raised by this report, and attempt to clarify and propose improvements aimed at increasing the effectiveness of the implementation of the PPSMVSS, as well as the coordination among the participating institutions. The meeting should also provide a better understanding of the relationship between the implementation of the PPSMVSS and other projects related to the conservation of the heritage of the Kasbah of Algiers and which are currently under way.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2017
41 COM 7B.73
Kasbah of Algiers (Algeria) (C 565)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 39 COM 7B.46, adopted at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
  3. Takes note of the continuing efforts of the State Party and its commitment to improve the management and state of conservation of the property but, noting the increasing deterioration, urges the State Party to deploy all necessary efforts to ensure the protection;
  4. Reiterates its recommendation to the State Party to adopt an integrated approach to the management and conservation of the property, focusing on the historic urban landscape to define a comprehensive framework for the effective implementation of the Permanent Plan for the Safeguarding and Valorization of the Safeguarded Sector (PPSMVSS), and the conduct of all other actions to improve the state of conservation of the property;
  5. Noting further that an expert meeting on the safeguarding of the Kasbah of Algiers will be organized before the end of 2017, strongly recommends that all the issues raised in this report on the state of conservation of the property are addressed within the framework of the approach described in paragraph 4 of the present Decision;
  6. Commends the State Party for the results of the preventive excavation carried out in connection with the proposed Place des Martyrs metro station, aimed at reconciling the imperatives of urban development with the need to preserve the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;
  7. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2017, the final report on the preventive excavation operation carried out in connection with the Place des Martyrs metro station project, for consideration by the Advisory Bodies;
  8. Also 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.73

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 39 COM 7B.46, adopted at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
  3. Takes note of the continuing efforts of the State Party and its commitment to improve the management and state of conservation of the property but, noting the increasing deterioration, urges the State Party to deploy all necessary efforts to ensure the protection;
  4. Reiterates its recommendation to the State Party to adopt an integrated approach to the management and conservation of the property, focusing on the historic urban landscape to define a comprehensive framework for the effective implementation of the Permanent Plan for the Safeguarding and Valorization of the Safeguarded Sector (PPSMVSS), and the conduct of all other actions to improve the state of conservation of the property;
  5. Noting further that an expert meeting on the safeguarding of the Kasbah of Algiers will be organized before the end of 2017, strongly recommends that all the issues raised in this report on the state of conservation of the property are addressed within the framework of the approach described in paragraph 4 of the present Decision;
  6. Commends the State Party for the results of the preventive excavation carried out in connection with the proposed Place des Martyrs metro station, aimed at reconciling the imperatives of urban development with the need to preserve the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;
  7. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2017, the final report on the preventive excavation operation carried out in connection with the Place des Martyrs metro station project, for consideration by the Advisory Bodies;
  8. Also 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
Algeria
Date of Inscription: 1992
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(v)
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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