Take advantage of the search to browse through the World Heritage Centre information.

City of Quito

Ecuador
Factors affecting the property in 2017*
  • Housing
  • Major visitor accommodation and associated infrastructure
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Underground transport infrastructure
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Urban development pressures affecting the authenticity of the property
  • Major visitor accommodation and associated infrastructure (works in the Tower of the Complex of the Compañía de Jesús)
  • Management systems (weaknesses in the decision-making mechanisms regarding conservation)
  • Transportation infrastructure (construction of metro, including underground station)
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2017
Requests approved: 16 (from 1981-1999)
Total amount approved : 391,800 USD
Missions to the property until 2017**

November 1988: expert mission; March 2009: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission; October 2013: ICOMOS Advisory mission; December 2016: ICOMOS Advisory mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2017

On 24 March 2017, the State Party submitted a report, available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/2/documents, which was submitted following reception of the report on the ICOMOS Advisory mission carried out in December 2016 and incorporates responses to its recommendations as follows:

  • The report describes in detail the management structure for the property, emphasizing that the responsibility for the “registration, inventory, restoration, conservation, and protection, and in general, in the intervention and management of archaeological, urban, and architectural heritage of the Metropolitan District of Quito” is delegated to the Metropolitan Institute of Patrimony (IMP). This is overseen by a broadly composed Commission of Historic Areas and Heritage and guided by the Plan for Territorial Development and Planning (PMDOT) (2015-2025), in which cultural heritage is one of the central policies;
  • Currently, a Comprehensive Action and Management Plan for the Historic Centre of Quito is under elaboration that will replace the Special Plan of the Historical Centre of 2003, in order to incorporate new policies and priorities and to respond to present conditions such as the loss of residential population. In parallel, a Vision for the Historical Centre 2040 is developed;
  • The State Party provides responses to all past recommendations made by the Committee and ICOMOS missions, in areas of metro construction, risk preparedness, Compañía de Jesús project, interventions in public spaces and management structure and planning;
  • As for the selection of the location of the metro station in the historic centre, the State Party reports on the analysis of eleven possible alternatives (attached as Appendixes 11 and 12 of the State Party report). All studies, from different perspectives, confirm that Plaza San Francisco is the best possible location. The Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs) of San Francisco, Plaza Grande, Plaza del Teatro and 24 de Mayo conclude that only in “Plaza San Francisco, impacts can be managed in advance, that is change can be prevented through the implementation of previous technical measures.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2017

In January 2015 and May 2016, ICOMOS undertook technical reviews of the construction of the Quito metro including the project for the construction of the metro station at the San Francisco. Ultimately, an ICOMOS Advisory mission took place from 7 to 10 December 2016 to follow up on the matters detailed in Paragraph 7 of Decision 40 COM 7B.5. The report of the mission addresses the following issues:

  • Metro of Quito: The Advisory mission reviewed 11 possible locations and comparative studies provided by the State Party, including HIAs for stations at 24 de Mayo, Plaza Grande, Plaza San Francisco and Plaza del Teatro. All studies point to the San Francisco location as being the most suitable in terms of space for construction. The mission advised that if the State Party decides to proceed with this location, it should urgently prepare and submit a report on the institutional and administrative arrangements that have been made regarding planning and construction, including archaeological research and potential emergency intervention, that will allow the monitoring, evaluation and reporting of the impact of the works and decision-making on the continuity of the works. The mission also provided extensive technical recommendations on the construction and preventive measures that should be taken in case of the construction of the station at San Francisco. The State Party has subsequently confirmed the selection of Plaza San Francisco and the construction of a station under the square has commenced. The State Party also informs that it has accepted all of the other Advisory mission recommendations. Archaeological excavations at the Plaza San Francisco have been initiated. While evidence of several construction phases have been identified, no conclusions about the occupation at the site or construction of the San Francisco Convent could be drawn due to the fact that excavations are limited to the area of construction of the metro;
  • Management and conservation issues: The elaboration of a new Management Plan is conceived in three stages: diagnosis (presently under implementation), definition of strategic lines of action and elaboration of the management model. The 2016 mission considers that the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property is not sufficiently recognized as a transversal reference. It states that both text and graphics should prioritize the OUV of the property, so that the development of the diagnosis and the following stages are directed towards the objective of the plan: the management of the property and the maintenance of its OUV. Since the devastating earthquake of 1987, risk management is incorporated in policies and planning at all levels of government. For the cultural heritage, adequate norms and guidelines exist for pre-, during and post-earthquake intervention. The response to the damages caused by the earthquake of April 2016 was effective;
  • Church and Convent of Compañía de Jesús: The 2016 mission analyzed the project for the Jesuit Culture Centre-Museum in the Church and cloister that will include areas for the Jesuit fathers, a hotel, cultural and religious activities. The intervention is considered an adequate response to the cultural, historical, artistic and architectural values of the Compañia de Jesús Complex. Its execution does not jeopardize the OUV of the property and positive impacts are expected in the process of integral recovery of the building;
  • Public Spaces: Interventions in public spaces are of limited quality and show that an integrated Management Plan is urgently needed.

In conclusion, important progress has been made in the areas of institutional framework and management planning, as well as in the execution of the project at the Compañia de Jesus.

As to the construction of the metro, it is understood that the sole underground station in the historic centre will be located under the highly emblematic and significant square of San Francisco. The State Party should be urged to take extreme care to preserve the coherent urban ensemble of the square and its surroundings and to take the necessary preventive measures for vibrations during and after the construction phase, and for the paving of the square. Considering that the square may have been the area of interaction between the indigenous population and colonizers, particular attention should be given to archaeological research, detailed documentation of all the paving before work commences, and monitoring during the works and, if needed, emergency interventions. In addition, measures should be developed to ensure the continued traditional use of the square and to manage real estate development appropriately.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2017
41 COM 7B.61
City of Quito (Ecuador) (C 2)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 40 COM 7B.5, adopted at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016),
  3. Taking note of the information provided regarding the management structure and planning mechanisms for the historic centre of Quito, recommends that the State Party further clarify roles, responsibilities and interactions of institutions at various levels of government and requests the State Party to provide the Comprehensive Action and Management Plan as soon as it becomes available, to the World Heritage Centre, for evaluation by the Advisory Bodies;
  4. Regarding the metro project and the possible location of the main station in the historic centre, regrets that the State Party has commenced the implementation of the metro station at one of the most emblematic and significant attributes of the property, the Square of San Francisco;
  5. Urges the State Party to take the necessary measures to ensure the continuing urban coherence of the Square as a key attribute of Outstanding Universal Value and to ensure the full implementation of the recommendations of the 2016 ICOMOS Advisory mission;
  6. Also requests the State Party to prepare and submit a report on the institutional and administrative arrangements that have been made regarding planning and construction of the metro line and underground station, including archaeological research, potential emergency interventions, and any changes to the paving of the square;
  7. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 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 42nd session in 2018.
Draft Decision: 41 COM 7B.61

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 40 COM 7B.5, adopted at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016),
  3. Taking note of the information provided regarding the management structure and planning mechanisms for the historic centre of Quito, recommends that the State Party further clarify roles, responsibilities and interactions of institutions at various levels of government and requests the State Party to provide the Comprehensive Action and Management Plan as soon as it becomes available, to the World Heritage Centre, for evaluation by the Advisory Bodies;
  4. Regarding the metro project and the possible location of the main station in the historic centre, regrets that the State Party has commenced the implementation of the metro station at one of the most emblematic and significant attributes of the property, the Square of San Francisco;
  5. Urges the State Party to take the necessary measures to ensure the continuing urban coherence of the Square as a key attribute of Outstanding Universal Value and to ensure the full implementation of the recommendations of the 2016 ICOMOS Advisory mission;
  6. Also requests the State Party to prepare and submit a report on the institutional and administrative arrangements that have been made regarding planning and construction of the metro line and underground station, including archaeological research, potential emergency interventions, and any changes to the paving of the square;
  7. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 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 42nd session in 2018.
Report year: 2017
Ecuador
Date of Inscription: 1978
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iv)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2017) .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.


top