Kyiv: Saint-Sophia Cathedral and Related Monastic Buildings, Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra (Ukraine) (C 527ter)
Year of inscription on the World Heritage List 1990
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/527/documents/
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 44,720
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/527/assistance/
UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds
Previous monitoring missions
May 1999: ICOMOS expert mission; April 2006: expert mission (Italian Funds-in-Trust); November 2007: World Heritage Centre information meeting for site managers; March 2009, November 2010 and April 2013: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring missions
Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports
- Lack of legal framework and planning mechanisms
- Lack of management system and mechanisms of coordination between all stakeholders including the City Municipality
- Lack of management activities
- Urban development pressure
- High-rise buildings that could compromise the panorama of the historical monastic Dnieper river landscape (built)
Illustrative material see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/527/
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2017
On 31 January 2017, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property, available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/527/documents/, providing information on conservation works, as well as progress in implementing the recommendations of the Committee, as follows:
- Historical and Architectural Structure Plan of Kyiv: The Structure Plan has been prepared and now requires approval by concerned parties and the Ministry of Culture. Long-term measures for protection of monuments and strict conditions for construction within the property and the buffer zone are being developed;
- Zoning Plan: Elaboration of the zoning plan for the Central Planning Area of Kyiv is ongoing. The historic landscape hills of Kyiv Hills and the valley of the river Dnieper have been included in the protection zone of Saint Sophia and Lavra, and a proposal for strict protection, banning new construction and additional building levels, will be considered by the Institute of Master Plan of Kyiv City;
- Moratorium: There is a moratorium on construction and sale of land pending approval of the Structure Plan and Zoning Plan;
- Klovsky Decent, 7a: The building on Klovsky Decent is not in public ownership and implementation of the Committee request to demolish its visually-intrusive levels is impossible, owing to absence of legal mechanisms to enforce purchase or demolition of floors and lack of resources;
- Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra: Emergency measures to prevent possible landslide risk on the slope of the Economic Courtyard of the Monastery, including rehabilitation activities on the territory of the Lavra are complete. These activities were presented to the 2013 Reactive Monitoring mission. The Rehabilitation Activities Plan for the Monastery courtyard foresees reconstruction of lost buildings, but has not been implemented;
- Kyiv Master Plan: Revisions to the Master Plan and the Architectural Interim Town Plan of Kyiv are at their final stage. By Order of the Ministry of Culture, protected zones of the ensemble, strict conditions for town planning, and use regimes for the preparatory documentation stage for new buildings and reconstruction of existing buildings have been adopted;
- Management Plan: The draft Management Plan was provided to the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS in November 2016.
Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM
The State Party has instigated measures to address urban development issues, through proposed amendments to legislation and revisions to the Master Plan. In the absence of a detailed Urban Development Plan, elaboration of legal and stringent regulations, and thorough analysis of traditional urban landscape, these efforts do not yet adequately address the threats to the property.
The joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission carried out from 21 - 25 March 2017 concluded that, while the general state of conservation of the property remains satisfactory, the impact of previous inappropriate town planning, lack of regulations and overall strategic vision pose a threat to the vulnerable Dnieper river landscape, the visual integrity of the property and thus to its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV).
Once adopted, the newly developed Structure Plan and the Zoning Plan should become important tools for controlling development in the buffer zone. However, continuing development project proposals located in the buffer zone highlight the continuing lack of adequate regulations and overall vision. Regrettably, owing to legal and budgetary constraints the adverse effect of the high-rise building on Klovsky Decent on the visual integrity of the property cannot be reversed.
The mission recommended that comprehensive Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs) be prepared, including 3D visual simulations, of all potential projects to ensure the impacts on the property and its visual integrity can be considered and avoided and that, in the meantime, a legal ban on all previously delivered and planned permits for constructions in the buffer zone of the property and its vicinity should be imposed. Furthermore, an ‘Urban Development Concept’ should be developed prior to the adoption of the Urban Master Plan. Stringent regulations to prohibit high rise buildings within the buffer zone, maintain the height of buildings undergoing renovation should be developed and implemented. Amendments to the law on the Protection of Cultural Heritage introducing a legal definition of World Heritage should also be adopted.
The mission concluded that works completed at the Monastery of Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra have no adverse effects on OUV, but recommended that, prior to further planned construction and rehabilitation works, a long-term programme should be developed applying the principles and requirements of the Nara Document of Authenticity (1994) and the Riga Charter (2000). Monitoring mechanisms to survey stability of structures should be installed for monuments at risk.
Weaknesses in management observed by previous missions remain unresolved; institutionalized coordination and cooperation in management of the property needs to occur within the framework of the Management Plan, which should be finalized, adopted and implemented as a matter of priority.
The cumulative effects of intrusive developments continue to violate the urban integrity of the property. Concerns about this impact have been raised consistently by the Committee since 2008. While progress has been made, essential legal instruments and management documents are not yet finalized and approved. If regulations are not immediately introduced by the national and municipal authorities to prevent use of the permissions delivered before the existing moratorium introduced by the Municipality of Kiev, uncontrolled urban development could jeopardize the property’s OUV and could represent potential danger, in conformity with Paragraph 179 of the Operational Guidelines.
It is recommended that the Committee provide the State Party with an opportunity to address these longstanding concerns and to implement the 2017 mission recommendations; but if these actions are not completed promptly, then consideration of the inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger would be warranted.
Decision Adopted: 41 COM 7B.53
The World Heritage Committee,
- Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7B.Add,
- Recalling Decision 40 COM 7B.6, adopted at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016),
- Acknowledges the measures taken by the State Party to address urban development issues, notably through amendments to legislation and ongoing revisions to the Master Plan enhancing cultural heritage protection of the property;
- Notes the conclusions and recommendations of the March 2017 joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission, notably that, while the general state of conservation of the property remains satisfactory, the impact of inappropriate town planning, lack of regulations and overall strategic vision pose a threat to its visual integrity and thus to the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property;
- Requests the State Party to:
- Finalize, adopt and implement the Management Pan for the property as a matter of priority,
- Prepare an inventory of existing licensed constructions, and particularly approved tall buildings, in the protected area,
- Carry out comprehensive Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs) including 3D visual simulations of all potential projects to ensure the impacts on the property and its visual integrity can be considered and avoided,
- Impose a legal ban on all previously delivered and planned permits for constructions in the buffer zone of the property and its vicinity until these HIAs have been reviewed by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies,
- Facilitate urgent finalization and adoption of the Master Plan of Kyiv, which should incorporate an Urban Development Concept, and the Zoning Plan of Kyiv Central,
- Impose stringent regulations to prohibit high rise buildings within the buffer zone, maintain the height of buildings undergoing renovation,
- Adopt and implement the amended Law of Ukraine on the Protection of Cultural Heritage including a legal definition of World Heritage;
- Also requests the State Party to address and resolve weaknesses in management observed by previous missions, by ensuring institutionalised coordination and cooperation in management of the property within the framework of the Management Plan;
- Recommends the State Party to develop a long term programme applying the principles and requirements established in the Nara Document of Authenticity (1994) and the Riga Charter (2000) prior to further planned reconstruction and rehabilitation works at the Monastery of Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra;
- Also recommends monitoring mechanisms to survey stability of structures be installed at all monuments at risk;
- Further requests the State Party to implement previous Committee decisions and the recommendations of the 2017 mission;
- Finally 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, with a view to considering, in the case of confirmation of the ascertained or potential danger to Outstanding Universal Value, the possible inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.