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Historic Centre of Puebla

Mexico
Factors affecting the property in 2018*
  • Ground transport infrastructure
  • Major visitor accommodation and associated infrastructure
  • Management systems/ management plan
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Urban pressure (issue resolved)
  • Major visitor accommodation and associated infrastructure
  • Lack of monitoring system (issue resolved)
  • Earthquake in 1999 (issue resolved)
  • Ground transport infrastructure
  • Management systems/management plan
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2018
Requests approved: 4 (from 1994-2018)
Total amount approved : 158,000 USD
Missions to the property until 2018**

October 2003: ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission; May 2002: ICOMOS mission; May 1996: mission within the framework of the International Assistance

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2018

On 20 December 2017, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/416/documents/. Complementary information concerning the seismic event of September 2017 was received on 7 March 2018. In these documents the State Party addresses the following:

  • The cable car has been constructed and is in operation. The State Party submitted extensive documentation to the World Heritage Centre in September 2016, which confirmed the project’s modifications and approval by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH). The modifications introduced include the reduction of the towers’ number and location with very limited visual impact from the World Heritage property. The amended project’s structures could be disassembled, ensuring its reversibility. The 2017 state of conservation report confirms that two towers have been constructed in the historical zone of Los Fuertes and none in the historical centre. Casa del Torno is however one of the historic buildings damaged by the initial cable car proposal and for which the Community Participation Council requested its reconstruction. This reconstruction project was conducted within the INAH interventions’ criteria and consent. Today, the building has been integrated into the city as a public space for cultural events;
  • It is noted that in 2016, from the 5,115 public transportation vehicles within 273 routes, 84% of these crossed the historic centre. To improve the efficiency and reduce the transit within the property, the State Party is introducing alternative rapid bus routes (RUTA);
  • The Partial Programme for the Sustainable Development of the Historical Centre of Puebla was completed in 2015. This programme aims to define strategies, policies and regulations for the development of the historical centre, and to promote the participation of the public and private sectors in rehabilitation interventions, with an emphasis on areas in a poor state of conservation. A Management Plan for this programme was finalised in 2016 as an instrument to define strategies and concrete intervention projects. Based on an exhaustive diagnosis, the plan identifies 17 sub-areas and their short, medium and long-term priorities, giving much attention to the safeguarding of tangible and intangible heritage, to housing and community services, and to mobility.
  • The State Party provided a global assessment of damages following the earthquake of 19 September 2017, which measured 7.1 on the Richter scale. The assessment was completed within 72 hours, followed by numerous emergency stabilization works. As of 5 December 2017, 1,071 buildings have been inspected, with 343 buildings (32%) reported to have suffered structural damage, and 198 buildings (19%) presenting damage to the facades. There is a high concentration of affected buildings in the areas surrounding the cathedral. Restoration and reconstruction actions will adhere to regulations issued by INAH and the municipality.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2018

In accordance with the request expressed by the Committee in Decision 40 COM 7B.7, the State Party submitted extensive information concerning the cable car project. The information introduced the revised version of the project with an amended location in a parkland and the implementation of the proposed modifications by the Consejo de Monumentos Historicos Inmueble. Furthermore, the modified project was revised and approved by INAH. Therefore, in accordance with the modifications, especially those referring to decreasing the visual presence of the towers and ensuring the reversibility of the construction, ICOMOS’ technical review concluded that the cable car would not pose a risk to the Outstanding Universal Value of the property.

The State Party should be commended for the preparation of the Management Plan for the Partial Programme for the Sustainable Development of the Historical Centre of Puebla, which defines strategies and objectives in an appropriate manner and clearly identifies priorities. ICOMOS will provide a separate technical review that will be transmitted to the State Party in due course with specific recommendations for the future revision of the Plan. In addition, it is recommended that the Committee encourage the State Party to secure the necessary human and financial resources and institutional arrangements in order to guarantee the successful implementation of this Plan.

The State Party should also be congratulated for the immediate response and emergency interventions in the structures that were most affected by the earthquake of September 2017. It is recognised that the response to the earthquake will require major human and financial resources. Moreover, an adequate Disaster Risk Management Plan could be used as a tool to assist in the identification of future preventive measures and recovery plans.

It would be opportune to request the State Party to submit, by 1 December 2019, a report on the measures taken to consolidate and restore the structures that were affected by the earthquake, as well as on the progress made in the implementation of the Management Plan.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2018
42 COM 7B.40
Historic Centre of Puebla (Mexico) (C 416)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 40 COM 7B.7, adopted at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016),
  3. Acknowledges that according to the information provided by the State Party and ICOMOS’ Technical Review, the cable car project does not pose a threat to the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) and reminds the State Party of its obligation in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, to inform in advance and prior any irreversible decision taken, of major restorations and projects which may affect the OUV of the property;
  4. Welcomes the adoption of the Partial Programme for the Sustainable Development of the Historical Centre of Puebla and its corresponding Management Plan and encourages the State Party to ensure the human and financial resources and institutional arrangements for its implementation;
  5. Expresses its serious concern regarding the damages caused by the earthquake of September 2017, and commends the State Party for the actions taken in response;
  6. Recognizes that the implementation of the recently-adopted planning documents, and actions in response to the earthquake, will require major efforts and financial and human resources from the State Party, and reiterates its solidarity and support within the framework of the World Heritage Convention;
  7. Requests the State Party to submit, by 1 December 2019, a report on the actions taken in response to the damages caused by the earthquake of September 2017, and the progress made in the implementation of the Management Plan.
Draft Decision: 42 COM 7B.40

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 40 COM 7B.7, adopted at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016),
  3. Acknowledges that according to the information provided by the State Party and ICOMOS’ Technical Review, the cable car project does not pose a threat to the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) and reminds the State Party of its obligation in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, to inform in advance and prior any irreversible decision taken, of major restorations and projects which may affect the OUV of the property;
  4. Welcomes the adoption of the Partial Programme for the Sustainable Development of the Historical Centre of Puebla and its corresponding Management Plan and encourages the State Party to ensure the human and financial resources and institutional arrangements for its implementation;
  5. Expresses its serious concern regarding the damages caused by the earthquake of September 2017, and commends the State Party for the actions taken in response;
  6. Recognizes that the implementation of the recently-adopted planning documents, and actions in response to the earthquake, will require major efforts and financial and human resources from the State Party, and reiterates its solidarity and support within the framework of the World Heritage Convention;
  7. Requests the State Party to submit, by 1 December 2019, a report on the actions taken in response to the damages caused by the earthquake of September 2017, and the progress made in the implementation of the Management Plan.
Report year: 2018
Mexico
Date of Inscription: 1987
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iv)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2017) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 42COM (2018)
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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