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Historic Centre of Vienna

Austria
Factors affecting the property in 2019*
  • Housing
  • Legal framework
  • Major visitor accommodation and associated infrastructure
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Housing: High-rise construction projects in Central Vienna (proposed Vienna Ice-Skating Club – Intercontinental Hotel – Vienna Konzerthaus project)
  • Proposed new developments, including the Wien Museum and the Winterthur Building
  • Legal framework: Lack of effectiveness of the overall governance of the property
  • Legal framework: Lack of appropriateness of planning controls in the ‘High-Rise Concept 2014’ and the ‘Glacis Master Plan’
  • Major visitor accommodation and associated infrastructure
  • Desirability of conservation of historic roof constructions within the property
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 for the property

In progress

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

In progress

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2019
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2019**

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”; November 2018: joint high-level WHC/ICOMOS Advisory mission to the Historic Centre of Vienna

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2019

On 19 April 2019, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1033/documents, which summarizes the response to Decision 42 COM 7A.5, as follows:

  • An agreed three-stage process has addressed threats to the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property. Step 1 was an independent expert workshop in March 2018, the results from which are available at: https://www.kunstkultur.bka.gv.at/prufungen-studien-monitoring-berichte#UNESCO_Expert_Workshops_2018. Step 2 was a comprehensive Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) for the Intercontinental Hotel – Ice Skating Club – Vienna Concert Hall (Heumarkt Neu) project. Step 3 was a high-level Advisory mission in November 2018. The HIA and the mission report are available at: https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1033/documents/;
  • The State Party has requested a commitment from the City of Vienna that the Heumarkt Neu project not be implemented in its current form and that the Mission recommendations should be implemented. The Austrian Federal Administrative Court found in April 2019 that the Heumarkt Neu project poses a major threat to the historic skyline that is essential to the OUV of the property, noting the potential major disturbance to its authenticity and integrity. It also found that existing Austrian EIA legislation does not sufficiently guard against negative impacts on the OUV in urban World Heritage properties in Austria. However, the Court’s finding is subject to legal appeal. A two year moratorium is proposed for all planning measures jeopardizing the OUV of the property, including the Heumarkt Neu project, to allow possible alternatives to be explored. The State Party has expressed commitment to pursuing further steps towards developing the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) and the City of Vienna has indicated that the moratorium will be observed and that it will help to find a solution for the Heumarkt Neu project;
  • The 2018 Advisory mission was briefed on the study on historic roof constructions of the property, which presents a detailed picture of the status of roof structures. Consideration is being given to extending the roof cadastre to allow for steel and composite roof constructions. Reports on the proposed development of Wien Museum / Winterthur Building, have been submitted to the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Mission found that the design has developed in a positive direction, although the final design for the entrance and the material of the vertical extension require further review;
  • Information about a development project in the “Belvedere Stöckl” area of the Schwarzenberg Gardens has been submitted in conformity with paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines and the project has been subject to a technical review by ICOMOS. The Advisory mission noted the "degraded character" of the gardens and recommended that an integrated conservation plan be placed at the core of a long-term upgrading vision. The State Party advises that such a plan is in place and that assessment of the impact of the current projects on the OUV of the property will occur in cooperation with the Federal Monuments Authority.

The State Party acknowledges that the property should remain on the List of World Heritage in Danger, noting that the Advisory mission recommendations and findings of the HIA, provide a basis for the required DSCOR. An updated road map outlining issues and action points was submitted with the State Party report.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2019

The three-stage process undertaken by the State Party, in collaboration with the City of Vienna and other stakeholders, has resulted in a consistent set of conclusions regarding the threats posed to the OUV of the property by the current planning and development controls and development projects, including the Heumarkt Neu project. While the updated road map is welcome, it is vital that the outcomes from the three-stage process, particularly the findings and recommendations of the HIA for the Heumarkt Neu project, and the recommendations of the 2018 high-level Advisory mission now be carried through to an agreed DSCOR and a related set of corrective measures, which can be adopted by the Committee.

It remains a matter of grave concern that legal approval has been given for the Heumarkt Neu project, which the Committee has consistently advised would adversely affect the OUV of the property, if implemented in its current form. The commitments from the State Party, the recent findings of the Federal Administrative Court and the proposed two-year moratorium are all welcome. The HIA for the Heumarkt Neu project is of a high standard and its findings and recommendations are cogent, values-based, and warrant strong support and decisive implementation. It is highly desirable that negotiations occur with the developer to identify and implement appropriate mitigation measures.

The OUV of the property remains in danger from existing planning controls, such as the ‘High-Rise Concept’ and ‘Glacis Masterplan’ as well as the critical level of urban development reached since inscription, with resulting cumulative impacts. New tools are required to guide the development process towards sustainable development that protects the attributes, which contribute to the OUV of the property. To that end, the Committee should urge the State Party to implement fully the recommendations to the 2018 Advisory mission, including revising the management structure of the property, comprehensive review of its current state of conservation, preparation of a new management plan, and instigation of a comprehensive process for continued monitoring and evaluation.

The Committee should encourage the State Party to pursue legislative protection for the Schwarzenberg Gardens and to continue to submit detailed plans and suporting documentation for the Belvedere Stöckl redevelopment project and other current and proposed projects within the Gardens, as well as elsewhere in the property and its buffer zone, for review by the Advisory Bodies, prior to implementation, or the making of any irreversible decisions, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines. There has been welcome progress with measures to manage and conserve the important historic roof constructions in the Historic Centre of Vienna, and the Committee should further encourage appropriate extensions to the roof cadastre, and reiterate its 2017 request for a moratorium on rooftop conversions until appropriate tools and approvals processes are in place.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2019
43 COM 7A.45
Historic Centre of Vienna (Austria) (C 1033)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 42 COM 7A.5, adopted at its 42nd session (Manama, 2018);
  3. Welcomes the three-stage process implemented by the State Party with the City of Vienna and notes the commitment of the State Party and of the city of Vienna to ensure the conservation of the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, and consequently urges all parties to support and pursue:
    1. The proposed two year moratorium on all planning measures which may jeopardize the OUV of the property, especially the Heumarkt Neu project,
    2. Actions to address the findings and recommendations of the Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) for the Heumarkt Neu project, including negotiations with the developer to identify and implement mitigation measures which avoid adverse heritage impact,
    3. The recommendations of the 2018 Advisory mission, including:
      1. Reviewing and revising the management structure of the property at the city and national level,
      2. Undertaking a comprehensive review of the current state of conservation of the property, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre, the Advisory Bodies (ICOMOS and ICCROM) and national and local stakeholders,
      3. Preparing a new Management Plan for the property, based on identification, description and mapping of tangible and intangible attributes of the property,
      4. Assessing the Belvedere Stöckl redevelopment project and other projects currently being executed or planned through an HIA process before they are approved and/or implemented, and halting works until this occurs,
      5. Pursuing legislative protection for the Schwarzenberg Gardens,
      6. Implementing a comprehensive process for continued monitoring and evaluation that is focused on retention of OUV while sustaining the economic growth of the City of Vienna;
  4. Reiterates its concern that the current planning controls for the property, and the critical level of urban development reached since inscription with resulting cumulative impacts, require new tools to guide the development process towards sustainable development that protects the attributes which contribute to the OUV of the property;
  5. Requests the State Party, based on the findings of the HIA for the Heumarkt Neu project and the 2018 Advisory mission recommendations, to facilitate the preparation of a Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) and a related set of corrective measures and timeframe for their implementation, addressing Decisions 40 COM 7B.49, 41 COM 7B.42, and 42 COM 7A.5, and the recommendations of the 2012, 2015 and 2018 missions, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, for adoption by the Committee;
  6. Encourages the State Party to support and facilitate appropriate measures to manage and conserve the historic roof constructions in the Historic Centre of Vienna as an important attribute of the property, through appropriate extensions to the roof cadastre, a moratorium on rooftop conversions until appropriate tools and approvals processes are in place, and also requests that any such changes be referred to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, prior to adoption and implementation;
  7. Further requests the State Party to submit, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, final plans for the Wien Museum and Winterthur Building, and detailed plans and supporting documentation for the Belvedere Stöckl redevelopment project, and any other proposed developments within the Schwarzenberg Gardens, for review by the Advisory Bodies, prior to implementation or the making of any irreversible decisions;
  8. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2020, 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;
  9. Decides to retain Historic Centre of Vienna (Austria) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
43 COM 8C.2
Update of the List of World Heritage in Danger (Retained Properties)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC/19/43.COM/7A, WHC/19/43.COM/7A.Add, WHC/19/43.COM/7A.Add.2, WHC/19/43.COM/7A.Add.3 and WHC/19/43.COM/7A.Add.3.Corr),
  2. Decides to retain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger:
  • Afghanistan, Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley (Decision 43 COM 7A.41)
  • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision43 COM 7A.42)
  • Austria, Historic Centre of Vienna (Decision 43 COM 7A.45)
  • Bolivia (Plurinational State of), City of Potosí (Decision 43 COM 7A.48)
  • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 43 COM 7A.5)
  • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 43 COM 7A.6)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Garamba National Park (Decision 43 COM 7A.7)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 43 COM 7A.8)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 43 COM 7A.9)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Salonga National Park (Decision 43 COM 7A.10)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Virunga National Park (Decision 43 COM 7A.11)
  • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 43 COM 7A.17)
  • Honduras, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Decision 43 COM 7A.4)
  • Indonesia, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Decision 43 COM 7A.1)
  • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 43 COM 7A.18)
  • Iraq, Hatra (Decision 43 COM 7A.19)
  • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 43 COM 7A.20)
  • Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (site proposed by Jordan) (Decision 43 COM 7A.22)
  • Kenya, Lake Turkana National Parks (Decision 43 COM 7A.12)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Cyrene (Decision 43 COM 7A.23)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Leptis Magna (Decision 43 COM 7A.24)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Sabratha (Decision 43 COM 7A.25)
  • Libya, Old Town of Ghadamès (Decision 43 COM 7A.26)
  • Libya, Rock-Art Sites of Tadrart Acacus (Decision 43 COM 7A.27)
  • Madagascar, Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Decision 43 COM 7A.13)
  • Mali, Old Towns of Djenné (Decision 43 COM 7A.53)
  • Mali, Timbuktu (Decision 43 COM 7A.54)
  • Mali, Tomb of Askia (Decision 43 COM 7A.55)
  • Micronesia (Federated States of), Nan Madol: Ceremonial Centre of Eastern Micronesia (Decision 43 COM 7A.43)
  • Niger, Aïr and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 43 COM 7A.14)
  • Palestine, Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir (Decision 43 COM 7A.30)
  • Palestine, Hebron/Al-Khalil Old Town (Decision 43 COM 7A.29)
  • Panama, Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Decision 43 COM 7A.50)
  • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 43 COM 7A.51)
  • Senegal, Niokolo-Koba National Park (Decision 43 COM 7A.15)
  • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 43 COM 7A.46)
  • Solomon Islands, East Rennell (Decision 43 COM 7A.2)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Aleppo (Decision 43 COM 7A.31)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Bosra (Decision 43 COM 7A.32)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Damascus (Decision 43 COM 7A.33)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient Villages of Northern Syria (Decision 43 COM 7A.34)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din (Decision 43 COM 7A.35)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Site of Palmyra (Decision 43 COM 7A.36)
  • Uganda, Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Decision 43 COM 7A.56)
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City (Decision 43 COM 7A.47)
  • United Republic of Tanzania, Selous Game Reserve (Decision 43 COM 7A.16)
  • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 43 COM 7A.3)
  • Uzbekistan, Historic Centre of Shakhrisyabz (Decision 43 COM 7A.44)
  • Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Coro and its Port (Decision 43 COM 7A.52)
  • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 43 COM 7A.38)
  • Yemen, Old City of Sana’a (Decision 43 COM 7A.39)
  • Yemen, Old Walled City of Shibam (Decision 43 COM 7A.40)
Draft Decision: 43 COM 7A.45

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 42 COM 7A.5, adopted at its 42nd session (Manama, 2018);
  3. Welcomes the three-stage process implemented by the State Party with the City of Vienna and notes the commitment of the State Party and of the city of Vienna to ensure the conservation of the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, and consequently urges all parties to support and pursue:
    1. The proposed two year moratorium on all planning measures which may jeopardize the OUV of the property, especially the Heumarkt Neu project,
    2. Actions to address the findings and recommendations of the Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) for the Heumarkt Neu project, including negotiations with the developer to identify and implement mitigation measures which avoid adverse heritage impact,
    3. The recommendations of the 2018 Advisory mission, including:
      1. Reviewing and revising the management structure of the property at the city and national level,
      2. Undertaking a comprehensive review of the current state of conservation of the property, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre, the Advisory Bodies (ICOMOS and ICCROM) and national and local stakeholders,
      3. Preparing a new Management Plan for the property, based on identification, description and mapping of tangible and intangible attributes of the property,
      4. Assessing the Belvedere Stöckl redevelopment project and other projects currently being executed or planned through an HIA process before they are approved and/or implemented, and halting works until this occurs,
      5. Pursuing legislative protection for the Schwarzenberg Gardens,
      6. Implementing a comprehensive process for continued monitoring and evaluation that is focused on retention of OUV while sustaining the economic growth of the City of Vienna;
  4. Reiterates its concern that the current planning controls for the property, and the critical level of urban development reached since inscription with resulting cumulative impacts, require new tools to guide the development process towards sustainable development that protects the attributes which contribute to the OUV of the property;
  5. Requests the State Party, based on the findings of the HIA for the Heumarkt Neu project and the 2018 Advisory mission recommendations, to facilitate the preparation of a Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) and a related set of corrective measures and timeframe for their implementation, addressing Decisions 40 COM 7B.49, 41 COM 7B.42, and 42 COM 7A.5, and the recommendations of the 2012, 2015 and 2018 missions, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, for adoption by the Committee;
  6. Encourages the State Party to support and facilitate appropriate measures to manage and conserve the historic roof constructions in the Historic Centre of Vienna as an important attribute of the property, through appropriate extensions to the roof cadastre, a moratorium on rooftop conversions until appropriate tools and approvals processes are in place, and also requests that any such changes be referred to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, prior to adoption and implementation;
  7. Further requests the State Party to submit, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, final plans for the Wien Museum and Winterthur Building, and detailed plans and supporting documentation for the Belvedere Stöckl redevelopment project, and any other proposed developments within the Schwarzenberg Gardens, for review by the Advisory Bodies, prior to implementation or the making of any irreversible decisions;
  8. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2020, 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;
  9. Decides to retain Historic Centre of Vienna (Austria) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Report year: 2019
Austria
Date of Inscription: 2001
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iv)(vi)
Danger List (dates): 2017-present
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2019) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 43COM (2019)
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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