1.         City of Quito (Ecuador) (C 2)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1978

Criteria  (ii)(iv)

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/2/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1981-1999)
Total amount approved: USD 391,800
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/2/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

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

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/2/

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:

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 Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM

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.

Decision Adopted: 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.