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City of Quito

Ecuador
Factors affecting the property in 2018*
  • Housing
  • 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) (issue resolved)
  • Management systems (weaknesses in the decision-making mechanisms regarding conservation)
  • Transportation infrastructure (construction of metro, including underground station)
  • Housing
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Underground transport infrastructure
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2018
Requests approved: 16 (from 1981-1999)
Total amount approved : 391,800 USD
Missions to the property until 2018**

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 2018

On 30 January 2018, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, as well as additional reports on 14 and 20 February 2018. The complete report is available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/2/documents/, and presents the following:

  • The Metropolitan Development and Land Management Plan 2015-2025 (PMDOT) includes cultural heritage as one of its strategic lines of action with seven policies linked to the historical centre. In this framework, the Metropolitan Heritage Institute (IMP), in collaboration with the Zonal Administration Centre and the Metropolitan Institute of Urban Planning, is developing an Integral Plan for the Historical Centre of Quito (legally entitled the Complementary Urban Plan or Partial Plan and previously referred to as the Comprehensive Plan of Action and Management). In 2017, work continued on the elaboration of the methodology and generation of technical information;
  • Since 2010, the Metropolitan District of Quito has acted as a Decentralized Autonomous Government (DAG) with full responsibility for the preservation, maintenance and dissemination of cultural and natural heritage. The Organic Law of Culture, issued in December 2016, defines the responsibilities of different agencies and levels of government. It delegates the responsibility for the cultural heritage of the property to the DAG, while the National Institute of Cultural Heritage (INPC) focusses on research, technical supervision and advice. At the local level, the Commission of Historical Areas and Heritage is responsible for the review and approval of interventions on the site, while the City Council of the Metropolitan District of Quito, through the IMP, is the entity responsible for the implementation of public policy on cultural heritage;
  • In order to reverse the depopulation of the historical centre, an investment programme was launched to recover historic buildings used for housing purposes was launched. In 2017, 59 historic buildings (comprising 236 housing units) benefitted from this initiative; monitoring and risk management activities implemented included the identification of buildings subject to seismic movements and vibrations, as well as the preparation of a Risk Management Plan for the Historical Centre of Quito that will be concluded and put into effect in May 2018;
  • The construction of the metro station at San Francisco Square was concluded in December 2017, while the pavement of the square is being reinstated in accordance with its original configuration. The report includes extensive information on the archaeological research carried out at San Francisco Square, Santa Clara and 24 de Mayo, monitoring activities, conservation measures, and the interpretation programme that will be exhibited in metro tunnels and platforms. A report on institutional and administrative arrangements related to the planning and construction of the station, including the excavations and interpretation programme, is also provided;
  • The Metropolitan Public Company Metro de Quito (EPMMQ) is responsible for the design, construction and administration of the Quito Metro. The technical recommendations of the 2016 ICOMOS Advisory mission have been taken into account, as the design of the Impact Control Plan, which addresses preventions and mitigation issues and the submission of monthly archaeological monitoring reports by a specialized consultancy;
  • Actions that are planned for 2018 include progress with the Integral Plan, strengthening of both citizen participation in management and planning and investment programmes for owners of heritage buildings, and the implementation of complementary projects to the construction of the Quito Metro.

On 25 April 2018, the State Party submitted a request to the World Heritage Centre for a technical review of the documentation and processes proposed to protect the OUV and monitor the property and its components during the metro works, particularly including tunnelling beneath the Historic Centre of Quito, which is scheduled for late 2018.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2018

The complete and systematic state of conservation report provided by the State Party is welcomed. It provides relevant information on the management of the cultural heritage of the city, as well as the related roles and responsibilities of different levels of government. The overall objectives for the historical centre of Quito recognize its World Heritage status explicitly and pay particular attention to public spaces, housing, community participation, and sustainable development, amongst others.

The progress in the implementation of the Integral Plan of Quito is noted and it is encouraging that the methodology for its preparation incorporates concepts of the UNESCO recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape. However, this Integral Plan must meet the parameters of a Management Plan as understood in the context of the World Heritage Convention and its Operational Guidelines. Once complete, the Plan should be submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies.

The city will generally benefit from the metro project, but it is disappointing that the State Party did not respond to the observations of the World Heritage Committee and its recommendation to carefully examine alternative locations for the San Francisco Square metro station, and has instead proceeded with its construction. The technical recommendations of the 2016 ICOMOS Advisory mission were partially taken into account and it is positive that the pavement of the square is being reinstated in the original configuration. The entrance to the station will be in the Pichincha building and no new constructions will be visible on the square. However, it is unclear from the documentation provided by the State Party to what extent the ground moved during excavation, or if there were any adverse impacts on the historical assets. Fortunately, the excavation of the station site took place without incurring any accidents or earthquakes. While the excavator of the tunnel mines towards the site, ongoing monitoring of surface and subsurface ground movement should inform the performance of the mining. The request from the State Party for a technical review of the documentation and processes proposed to protect the OUV and monitor the property and its components during the metro works is welcomed, but it is important that sufficient time be available between receipt of this information and the commencement of tunneling beneath the Historic Centre to allow for the completion and communication of the technical review. At a later stage, it is recommended that the State Party should also monitor the impact of the station at this location on the flow of pedestrians and the use and functions of the square so that any required corrective measures may be undertaken.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2018
42 COM 7B.38
City of Quito (Ecuador) (C 2)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 41 COM 7B.61, adopted at its 41st session (Krakow, 2017),
  3. Notes the legal and institutional arrangements for the conservation and management of cultural heritage provided by the State Party in its state of conservation report;
  4. Acknowledges the progress made in the preparation of the Integral Plan and encourages the State Party to complete it in accordance with the UNESCO Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape and other management recommendations and, once available, to submit it to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  5. Also notes the actions implemented by the State Party in areas of monitoring and risk management, as well as the promotion of housing in historic buildings and requests the State Party to submit the Risk Management Plan to the World Heritage Centre, once available, for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  6. Further notes that the construction of the metro station at the San Francisco Square has been concluded, but regrets that the requested consultation process with the Committee was not concluded, and that alternative locations were not sufficiently explored as repeatedly requested by the Committe;
  7. Notes furthermore that the State Party submitted documentation regarding the protection of the OUV and monitoring of the property and its components during the metro works, for technical review by the Advisory Bodies, and also requests the State Party to ensure that there is adequate time for such a review before commencement of tunnelling beneath the Historic Centre of Quito and that any matters raised in the technical review are addressed before these works proceed;
  8. Urges the State Party to:
    1. continue the programmes for the monitoring of vibrations and surface settlements of the construction of the tunnel proceeds as recommended by the 2016 ICOMOS Advisory mission,
    2. submit the results of this monitoring to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies,
    3. develop a programme to assess, once the metro line is in operation, the station’s impact on pedestrian flows and the uses and functions of the square and its surrounding buildings;
  9. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2019, 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 44th session in 2020.
Draft Decision: 42 COM 7B.38

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 41 COM 7B.61, adopted at its 41st session (Krakow, 2017),
  3. Notes the legal and institutional arrangements for the conservation and management of cultural heritage provided by the State Party in its state of conservation report;
  4. Acknowledges the progress made in the preparation of the Integral Plan and encourages the State Party to complete it in accordance with the UNESCO Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape and other management recommendations and, once available, to submit it to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  5. Also notes the actions implemented by the State Party in areas of monitoring and risk management, as well as the promotion of housing in historic buildings and requests the State Party to submit the Risk Management Plan to the World Heritage Centre, once available, for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  6. Further notes that the construction of the metro station at the San Francisco Square has been concluded, but regrets that the requested consultation process with the Committee was not concluded, and that alternative locations were not sufficiently explored as repeatedly requested by the Committe;
  7. Notes furthermore that the State Party submitted documentation regarding the protection of the OUV and monitoring of the property and its components during the metro works, for technical review by the Advisory Bodies, and also requests the State Party to ensure that there is adequate time for such a review before commencement of tunnelling beneath the Historic Centre of Quito and that any matters raised in the technical review are addressed before these works proceed;
  8. Urges the State Party to:
    1. continue the programmes for the monitoring of vibrations and surface settlements of the construction of the tunnel proceeds as recommended by the 2016 ICOMOS Advisory mission,
    2. submit the results of this monitoring to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies,
    3. develop a programme to assess, once the metro line is in operation, the station’s impact on pedestrian flows and the uses and functions of the square and its surrounding buildings;
  9. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2019, 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 44th session in 2020.
Report year: 2018
Ecuador
Date of Inscription: 1978
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iv)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2018) .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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