1.         Historic Centre of Vienna (Austria) (C 1033)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2001

Criteria  (ii)(iv)(vi)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    2017-present

Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger

The current planning controls: adopted developments and lack of adequate planning rules

Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger

In progress

Corrective measures identified

In progress

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

In progress

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1033/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1033/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

March 2006: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission to the “Palace and Gardens of Schönbrunn”; September 2012: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission to the “Palace and Gardens of Schönbrunn” and “Historic Centre of Vienna”; November 2015: ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission to “Historic Centre of Vienna”

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1033/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2018

On 1 February 2017, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1033/documents, and summarizes the response to Decision 41 COM 7B.42.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM

A close and constructive dialogue was set in motion immediately after the Committee decision in July 2017 and the State Party with the City of Vienna must be commended for their commitment to the process.

The three-stage process being undertaken to address inappropriateness of planning rules and new developments is welcome. This three-stage process must lead to an agreed set of corrective measures and an agreed DSOCR, which can be adopted by the World Heritage Committee.

While noting that there has been no change to the status or implementation of the projects recently, considered by the Committee, it would be appropriate for the Committee to reiterate its concern that the legal approval has been given for the “Vienna Ice-Skating Club – Intercontinental Hotel – Vienna Konzerthaus” project which the Committee considered would adversely affect the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property if implemented in its current form. It would therefore also be appropriate that the Committee request that the City Council of Vienna confirms its commitment not to give legal approval for any further high rise development (including the Wien Museum and Winterthur Building project), as this would pre-empt the current process and would be inconsistent with the Committee’s request that the State Party halt further approvals for high-rise projects.

The OUV of the property remains in danger from lawfully designed buildings and existing planning controls; particularly the ‘High-Rise Concept’ and ‘Glacis Masterplan’, notwithstanding the May 2017 resolution, which seeks to ensure no new high-rise locations, will be decreed within the property. As previously reported to the Committee, this resolution does not cover areas outside the 1st municipal district, and does not reverse high-rise locations previously determined. Consequently, without actual change to the planning controls themselves, the resolution could be reversed in future by another resolution of the City Council of Vienna. All of these issues, as well as current projects and the broader historic urban context, including visual axes and visual links, and both close and distant views, are to be addressed through the three-stage process.

The State Party and the City of Vienna are to be commended for the process put in place in order to respond to the Committee’s decision and for the study on historic roof constructions in the Historic Centre of Vienna, which will directly contribute to the conservation of this important attribute of the property, as highlighted in the 2012 and 2015 mission reports.

Decision Adopted: 42 COM 7A.5

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decisions 40 COM 7B.49 and 41 COM 7B.42, adopted at its 40th (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016) and 41st (Krakow, 2017) sessions respectively,
  3. Also recalling the concerns expressed by the 2012 mission regarding the critical level of urban development reached since inscription and its cumulative impacts on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, the need for new tools to guide the development process towards sustainable development that protects the attributes of the OUV, and the specific recommendations of the 2015 mission to the property;
  4. Welcomes the process put in place by the State Party together with the City of Vienna, ICOMOS and the World Heritage Centre in order to establish a clear milestone plan for addressing the Committee’s decisions;
  5. Also welcomes the completion of the study on historic roof constructions in the Historic Centre of Vienna by the Federal Monuments Authority in collaboration with the City of Vienna, which will contribute to the conservation of this important attribute of the property, as highlighted in the 2012 and 2015 mission reports;
  6. Notes with concern that legal approval was given in June 2017 for the “Intercontinental Hotel – Ice Skating Club – Vienna Concert Hall” project by the Vienna City Council, and that construction work is proposed to start in spring 2020, subject to a ‘clarification of whether the 2017 modifications to the project are sufficient to retain the authenticity of the property’, even though the Committee has advised that this project in its current form would adversely affect the OUV of the property; and that a political decision allowing the Wien Museum and the Winterthur Building projects is expected in spring 2018;
  7. Requests the State Party to halt any further approvals for high-rise projects, and the implementation of already approved projects, pending the adoption of the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) and corrective measures by the Committee;
  8. Notes with satisfaction the three-stage process proposed by the State Party, to address the substantive threats posed by current planning instruments and new developments at the property that led to Danger listing; and also requests that the State Party ensure that an outcome of the three-stage process is an agreed DSOCR and a related set of corrective measures and timeframe for their implementation, addressing decisions 40 COM 7B.49 and 41 COM 7B.42, and the recommendations of the 2012 and 2015 missions, for adoption by the Committee;
  9. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 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 43rd session in 2019;
  10. Decides to retain the Historic Centre of Vienna (Austria) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 42 COM 8C.2

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC/18/42.COM/7A, WHC/18/42.COM/7A.Add and WHC/18/42.COM/7A.Add.2),
  2. Decides to retain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger: