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Historic Centre of Vienna

Austria
Factors affecting the property in 2021*
  • Housing
  • Legal framework
  • Major visitor accommodation and associated infrastructure
  • Other Threats:

    Desirability of conservation of historic roof constructions within the property

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

Drafted, proposed for adoption in the draft Decision below

Corrective Measures for the property

Identified, proposed for adoption in the draft Decision below

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

Identified, proposed for adoption in the draft Decision below

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2021
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2021**

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 2021

On 3 February 2020, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, and on 29 January and 30 April 2021, the State Party submitted addenda, all of which are available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1033/documents. These reports provide information on measures implemented by the State Party in response to the Decision 43 COM 7A.45, as follows:

  • The City of Vienna has confirmed that the proposed Heumarkt – Ice Skating Club – Vienna Concert Hall tower block will not proceed as previously planned. A process was initiated to develop alternative variants to the design with particular consideration to the project’s height and volume. A visual study and a new Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) will assess a new design, which currently comprises two disc-shaped structures of 56,5 and 48 meters respectively, and will analyse potential impact on the property, having regard to the 2019 HIA and the 2018 High Level Joint UNESCO/ICOMOS Advisory mission to the property. The World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS will be consulted;
  • Completion of the new Management Plan for the property is scheduled for late autumn 2021, with the final document due to be submitted to the World Heritage Centre before adoption. An additional HIA will be developed for the Schwarzenberg Gardens development. The Wien Museum closed in February 2020 and construction work has commenced for its restoration and transformation. There are no current plans for development of the Winterthur Building. The Austrian Federal Monuments Authority, in cooperation with the City of Vienna, will extend the roof cadastre to include iron-construction-works and pay particular attention to the Ringstraße area. The roof cadastre will be implemented through the new Management Plan;
  • Enhanced protection of World Heritage throughout Austria will be provided through a programme released by the Federal Government in January 2020, including anchoring of World Heritage properties in the Austrian legal system, sustainable protection and preservation of cultural heritage, and commitment to UNESCO Conventions on Cultural Diversity and the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage;
  • The proposed 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 have been elaborated in cooperation between the City of Vienna and agencies of the State Party. The DSOCR has regard to the ‘Three-Stage-Process’ and the findings of missions in 2012, 2015 and 2018 and related Committee decisions, and has been interactively discussed online between the State Party, the City of Vienna, ICOMOS and the World Heritage Centre. The DSOCR is being submitted for adoption by the Committee (see below).
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2021

The State Party and the City of Vienna have made significant progress in responding to and implementing previous decisions of the Committee and working progressively towards the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger. The programme to enhance protection within the national legal system will contribute to the protection and conservation of all of Austria’s World Heritage properties and other cultural assets. Progress with the new Management Plan is welcome, and this plan should be reviewed by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies prior to its finalisation and implementation. The expansion of the roof cadastre and its intended implementation through the Management Plan will contribute to the conservation of this important attribute of the property and build on the work done to document and assess historic roofscapes within the property.

The property remains at risk from existing planning controls, such as the ‘High-Rise Concept’ and ‘Glacis Masterplan’ as well as inappropriate developments, so it is appropriate for the current moratorium to be maintained on new developments or planning measures which may impact upon attributes that contribute to the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, pending completion of the new Management Plan, the adoption of the DSOCR, implementation of related corrective measures, and amendments to planning controls which successfully address the cumulative impact of urban development since inscription and provide new tools which enable sustainable development that protects the attributes which contribute to the OUV of the property.

It is appropriate and welcome that an additional HIA is to be prepared for the Schwarzenberg Gardens development. It would also be appropriate to remind the State Party of the Committee’s previous request to pursue legislative protection for the Schwarzenberg Gardens. Final plans and designs for the Wien Museum, including technical details and additional visualisations, including that of a new entrance, should be submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies, before making any decisions that would be difficult to reverse.

The decision not to proceed with the proposed Heumarkt – Ice Skating Club – Vienna Concert Hall tower block as planned is very welcomed, as is the process initiated to develop and assess alternative variants to the design, although it remains a concern that a building which is higher than the existing building on the site has not been precluded. It is important that the proposed additional visual study assesses the currently proposed new design and any subsequent variations, and evaluate the potential impact on the property, having regard to the findings of the 2018 Joint High Level World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Advisory mission, and that a new HIA be prepared using precisely the same data, methodology and format of the 2019 HIA.

The State Party should be commended on the elaboration of the DSOCR and related corrective measures, and particularly the productive collaborative process with the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS. The following DSOCR has been developed by the State Party, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and stakeholders, and is proposed for adoption by the Committee:

  1. Desired state of conservation for the removal of the Historic Centre of Vienna from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR)

The desired state of conservation for the property is defined as follows:

  • Attributes which reflect and support the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property are clearly defined and described.
  • Sound planning tools and legal provisions to foster the safeguarding of the property are in place.
  • A comprehensive Management Plan and a related management system are the legal basis for all future decisions concerning the World Heritage property.
  • The Management Plan includes 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.
  • Revised design of the Heumarkt Neu project is implemented, respecting the integrity and authenticity of the OUV of the property as a whole as measured through an independent Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA), based on the results of the HIA 2019 and following its methodology.
  • No further high-rise development occurs within the property as well as in areas affecting its visual integrity.
  • There are no further roof top conversions of historically and artistically significant roof constructions, or that adversely affect the historic skyline and the overall integrity of the property, and enhanced safeguarding is provided for historic roof constructions.
  • No inadequate developments occur within the area of Ringstraße and Glacis.
  • There is no further disturbance of the baroque layout and visual integrity of the Belvedere / Schwarzenberg Complex (Palace and Gardens) including the vistas constituting an integral part of the original logic of this Baroque Gesamtkunstwerk.
  • Karlsplatz / Wien Museum / Winterthur Building area is redesigned according to the findings of the 2018 High Level Joint UNESCO/ICOMOS Advisory mission and the related mission report.
  • Priority is given to the preservation of historic / original building stock of the property.
  • Historic gardens and green spaces receive strong statutory protection and play a major role in preservation and management strategies to support and improve climate conditions in the urban area.
  • Schwarzenberg Garden and Palace are recognized as a major attribute reflecting the OUV of the property, ensuring its protection through the new comprehensive Management System for the Historic Centre of Vienna and an updated garden care-plan.
  • The Retrospective Statement of OUV (RSOUV) is interpreted consistently with the initial intentions as adopted by the World Heritage Committee when the property was inscribed on the World Heritage List.
  • Contemporary interventions in the property, its surrounding buffer zone and all areas that have potential visual impacts on the latter are based on sound assessments giving priority to the requirements of a World Heritage property.

BACKGROUND

The World Heritage Committee inscribed the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger based on Decision 41 COM 7B.42 mainly for two reasons:

  • “Current planning controls pose serious and specific threats to the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property”;
  • “Inadequate extent of change proposed for the Vienna Ice Skating Club - Intercontinental Hotel – Vienna Konzerthaus project.”

The Committee therefore requested the preparation of a DSOCR including a set of corrective measures and a timeframe for their implementation for submission to allow for their examination at its 2018 annual session.

In order to facilitate these measures, the State Party initiated an inclusive three-stage process involving all major stakeholders of the property and the particular project in 2018. It included an experts-workshop, a comprehensive HIA (as requested by the World Heritage Committee in its decisions of 2016 and 2017) and in addition to this a High Level joint ICOMOS/UNESCO Advisory mission to the property.

The procedure was a necessary preparatory exercise with the aim to re-establish a close cooperation between the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and the authorities in charge for safeguarding the property as well as to get a solid basis for the elaboration of the requested DSOCR. The World Heritage Committee welcomed this approach in its Decision 42 COM 7A.5, as well as the results communicated to the Committee in March 2019. The latter, together with the mission reports of 2012, 2015, 2018 and the corresponding decisions by the World Heritage Committee constitute the framework for the corrective measures and the DSOCR as to be defined within this framework.

Much of the building stock and the historic layout of the Viennese first district is in a very good state of preservation. Nevertheless, the above- mentioned developments since time of inscription led (and further on would lead) to changes of the cityscape, this being a major pillar to support the OUV of the property. Smaller but permanently progressing changes to the building stock, compared to its status at the time of inscription, as well as some insensitive contemporary interventions in or near important historic areas added to the reduction of the material authenticity of the property and other attributes, which led to a deterioration of the OUV.

The State Party and the City of Vienna therefore aim for a prompt re-establishment of a statutory management and planning framework which ensures retention of those attributes of the Historic Centre of Vienna that contribute to the OUV of the property.

The actual threats that lead to the inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger, and the DSOCR are set out in the below table. Among the corrective measures required to achieve the DSOCR, the most important steps are the:

  • Implementation of amendments to the legal planning controls in order to avoid further deterioration and to retain the OUV of the property
  • Redesign of the Heumarkt Neu project (Vienna Ice-Skating Club – Intercontinental Hotel – Vienna Konzerthaus area) and elaboration of a comprehensive visual study including an assessment of impacts on the OUV of the property based on the results of the Heritage Impact Assessment 2019 and reassessment of the redesign through an independent HIA to ensure that the OUV of the property is not harmed by the project.
  • Preparation, implementation and demonstration of the effectiveness of a comprehensive Management Plan and a corresponding management system (incorporating identification, description and mapping of tangible and intangible attributes of the property) that ensures the safeguarding of the OUV of the property.

METHODOLOGY

This report is based on the Committee decisions of 2011 to 2019 and on the mission reports of 2012, 2015 and 2019. It also takes into account the results of the 2019 HIA concerning the development of the property since inscription and the expectable impacts of the Heumarkt Neu project.

The schedule of goals and measures concentrates on the main objectives and does not include detailed to-do lists with corrective measures. The latter are provided by way of a ‘Roadmap’ – a schedule of ‘Corrective Measures’ - that will be updated and submitted to the World Heritage Committee by way of progress reporting. To give an example: The new Management Plan (MPL) (that is a major request according to the Committee decisions, mission reports and HIA) will include further details recommended by the mission reports and/or Committee decisions, such as regulations and provisions for:

  • Cooperation between local and federal authorities on an institutional basis,
  • Creation of an independent Advisory Body,
  • Sustainable Development Strategies for the property,
  • Continued Monitoring of the property,
  • Elaboration of HIAs,
  • Use of the Digital Height Model of the City of Vienna and 3D Modelling for HIAs.

The new Management Plan will be submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review. Therefore, the more detailed tasks can be assessed by the review of the Management Plan.

This principle also applies to the revision of planning tools and legal regulations. The latter will form an integral part of the Management Plan that will set out and be consistent with the respective amendments to these provisions, which shall be legally implemented by way of adoption through the regional and national authorities after acceptance of the MPL by the World Heritage Committee.

The elaboration of a list of attributes reflecting the OUV, key places, key vistas etc. is a separate major tool to be elaborated as essential input to the Management Plan and will be encompassed by the latter as well as the planning regulations. Hence no detailed list of those tools and regulations is provided within this report, as this would go beyond of its scope.

The structure of the schedule of goals and measures follows the template provided by the World Heritage Centre. It includes inter alia two columns indicating the status of the respective measures at the time of submission of the report and the target date for their completion. The Management Plan for example currently is work in progress and it is proposed that it shall become operative in July 2021 after acceptance by the World Heritage Committee.

The schedule is subdivided into three sections: Protection and Management / Attributes / Integrity. Some goals and measures appear in more than one section in order to address more specific challenges and to emphasise aspects that require special attention - regardless of the need for a general compliance of the respective measures with the OUV in total. This applies for instance to the Roof Cadastre that shall be extended to iron and composite constructions, which mainly appear in the area of Ringstraße. The latter also being a major attribute reflecting the OUV of the property and still providing possibilities for roof conversions and extensions. Therefore, a measure specifically addresses roof conversions in this area.

To facilitate the traceability of the goals and measures, a table of Committee decisions and schedules which provide the recommendations of the 2012, 2015 and 2018 mission reports are provided as annexes to this DSOCR.

Reports on the progress of the implementation of corrective measures will be provided by way of updated “roadmaps” annexed to the regular State of conservation reports.

PARTIES INVOLVED IN THE DSOCR

The DSOCR was jointly developed by the Federal Ministry for Arts, Culture, Civil Service and Sports, the Federal Monuments Authority and the Government and responsible authorities of the City of Vienna. In keeping with Decision 41 COM 7B.42, the Austrian authorities closely involved and consulted the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS International in the drafting of the DSOCR.

In order to reach a broader acceptance and enable preventive measures, ICOMOS Austria and the Austrian National Commission to UNESCO were consulted during the process.

ATTRIBUTES OF THE PROPERTY THAT ARE CURRENTLY UNDER THREAT

In accordance with the 2012, 2015, 2018 mission reports, the results of the 2019 HIA and the related Committee decisions the following attributes of the property are recognised as currently under threat and/or deteriorated:

  1. Urban morphology (Criterion ii and statement of integrity): overall visual appearance of the property as a whole, integrity of the historic fabric and urban skyline and key views and vistas (due to inappropriate developments including excessive roof top conversions);
  2. Urban layout of Ringstraße and Glacis (Criterion iv): Due to the building mass and height allowed by current controls, as evidenced by the proposed Heumarkt Neu project (according to Decision 41 COM 7B.42) neglecting the logic of the Gründerzeit development;
  3. Roofscape of the property (Criterion ii and statement of integrity) due to excessive roof top extensions and conversions also affecting rare mansard roofs that constitute prominent material testimony for the baroque period;
  4. Baroque layout and visual integrity of the Belvedere Complex (Palaces and Gardens) within the early modern logic of the baroque “Gesamtkunstwerk” (due to existing and potential further disturbances of the main historic vista, it being an essential component of the overall artistic concept);
  5. Karlsplatz - St. Charles Church and adjacent Wien Museum and Winterthur Building (Criteria ii and iv): due to proposed developments in the direct vicinity of the St. Charles Church, the latter being one of the world’s major baroque artworks;
  6. Material authenticity of the historic / original building stock of the property: The material authenticity of the historic building-stock of the property in general is in a very good condition. Nevertheless, due to a very permissive interpretation of the Vienna Memorandum, the focus in the last years shifted from conservation to renewal of building stock that is neither under national heritage protection nor part of a protection zone according to the Viennese Building Code;
  7. Historic gardens and green spaces: Gardens, parks and green spaces in the Historic Centre of Vienna are in general very well maintained and in good condition. As the statutory protection of historic gardens currently is limited to gardens in public ownership, some contemporary interventions recently put in place bear the risk of weakening this status. The same applies to not distinctively defined development-areas as laid down in the Masterplan Glacis.
  1. Corrective measures

N

INDICATOR FOR REMOVAL OF THE PROPERTY FROM THE LIST IN DANGER

RATIONALE

METHOD OF VERIFICATION

CURRENT STATUS OF INDICATOR

TARGET COMPLETION DATE

PROTECTION AND MANAGEMENT

Protection and Management

1

The attributes which reflect and support the OUV of the property are clearly defined and described.

The nomination dossier and the current RSOUV name only a few areas or buildings that contribute to the integrity and authenticity of the property and hence the conservation in their original status is crucial for the safeguarding of the OUV. The lack of clearly defined and described attributes constituting the basis for a sound management-framework lead to inadequate developments in the property and thus to deterioration of the OUV.

A description of attributes that support the integrity and authenticity of the OUV of the property and supporting its status at the time of inscription is part of an integrated management system that has been proven to protect the OUV in practice.

The attributes schedule will form an integrated part of the Management Plan. It will be public available and the respective places will be indicated in the digital map outlining the property.

Not yet started.

The elaboration takes place parallel to the procedure of the elaboration of the management plan and the implementation of a related management system, but will be completed before finalising the Management Plan in order to inform the Management Plan’s content and mechanisms.

July 2021 for the public availability within the Management Plan.

2

Sound planning tools and legal provisions foster the safeguarding of the property.

The deterioration of the OUV of the property largely is the result of insufficient or inappropriate planning tools and of legal provisions that were adapted rather to enable (inconsistent) renewal than to foster conservation and preservation.

Planning tools and legal provisions at both Federal and regional level are amended according to the recommendations of the related Committee decisions, the 2012, 2015, 2018 mission reports, the results of the 2019 HIA and their effect monitored and proven.

The implementation is based on the Management Plan and the implementation of a related management system. The latter shall encompass revised legal provisions that ensure the safeguarding of the property and prevents from further deterioration of its authenticity and integrity.

(City of Vienna), June 2024 at the latest for the legal provisions on Federal Level (please also note N3 in section “Attributes”).

3

A comprehensive Management Plan and a related management system are the legal basis for all future decisions concerning the World Heritage property.

The Management Plan has been accepted by the World Heritage Committee and formally adopted by the Vienna Council and the Federal Government.

The efficacy of the Management Plan is demonstrated in practice by way of regular monitoring reports through the national and international monitors of the property assigned by ICOMOS Austria.

The current Management Plan dates back to 2002, never led to an integrated Management System nor was it part of actual planning deliberations. 

A revised Management Plan based on the initial safeguarding and management intentions as laid down in the SOUV has been reviewed by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, and accepted by the World Heritage Committee as well as adopted by the City Council of Vienna.

Its efficacy is proven in practice by way of regular monitoring reports through the national and international monitors of the property assigned by ICOMOS Austria.

The process of developing a Management Plan and an integrated management system has been initiated and is work in progress.

July 2021 for the implementation of the Management Plan and Management System.

End of 2021 for the implementation of the related legal provisions on the level of the City of Vienna.

Prove of efficacy:
From July 2021 on regularly at least once a year by way of monitoring reports.

4

The Management Plan includes 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.

To be effective the Management Plan needs to include an ongoing mechanism for monitoring and evaluation. This mechanism should be directed at OUV, but must also recognise the need for the City to be sustainable.

A revised Management Plan which addresses matters raised in World Heritage Committee Decisions 41 COM 7B.42 and 43 COM 7A.45 has been reviewed by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, and accepted by the World Heritage Committee, adopted by the City Council of Vienna, and its efficacy proven in practice through monitoring and evaluation over a period of 5 years.

The implementation takes place during the procedure of the elaboration of the Management Plan and the implementation of a related management system.

Starting from July 2021.

5

Assessment of a revised design for the Heumarkt Neu project by a new HIA based on the results of the 2019 HIA and following its methodology.

HIA and 2018 mission report assessed the current design as “major negative” and its implementation as a potential conclusive threat to the OUV.

New HIA, prepared using the same methodology and impact assessment methodology as the 2019 HIA. The new HIA concludes that the revised project does not adversely impact upon the OUV of the property and has undergone a Technical Review by ICOMOS International. The latter assessed the revised design to be consistent with the requirements of safeguarding the OUV of the property.

The assignment of an independent expert to carry out the new HIA is currently in preparation.

Autumn 2020 submission of the new HIA to the World Heritage Centre for review.

ATTRIBUTES

Attributes

1

Implementation of a revised design of the Heumarkt Neu project respecting the integrity and authenticity of the OUV of the property as a whole as measured through an independent HIA.

Particularly the proposed height of the project adversely affects the monocentric character of the urban morphology.

A revised project that does not harm the OUV is either implemented or its implementation guaranteed within the legislative framework (zoning plan / building permission).

Revision of the project currently undergoing a Visual study and new independent HIA to be conducted.

End of 2021 for the complete legal implementation of the respective provisions in accordance with the redesign (e.g. zoning plan, building permission).

2

No further high-rise development within the property as well as in areas affecting its visual integrity.

The high-rise development since inscription of the property already deteriorated the integrity of the historic urban skyline and hence the OUV of the property.

The current planning tools (particularly the STEP 2025 High Rise concept) have been revised according to the findings of the 2012, 2015, and 2018 missions and the related Committee decisions and are based on sound legal provisions adopted by the City Council of Vienna.

The implementation takes place during the procedure of the elaboration of the Management Plan and the implementation of a related management system. The process of developing an integrated management system has been initiated.

July 2021 for the Management Plan and Management System.

End of 2021 for the implementation of the revised legal provisions on the regional level (City of Vienna).

3

No further roof top conversions that adversely affect the historic skyline and the overall integrity of the property and enhanced safeguarding of historic roof constructions based on the results of a comprehensive Roof Cadastre and the guidelines provided by way of the Standards for Built Heritage Conservation https://bda.gv.at/publikationen/standards- leitfaeden-richtlinien/standards-der- baudenkmalpflege/ 

The increase of roof extensions already deteriorated the urban fabric. Specific projects already threatened to affect valuable examples of baroque mansard roofs as well as remarkable Gründerzeit building stock.

The Roof Cadastre and the related regulations in the Management Plan apply to the whole building stock of the property and includes specific measures related to areas / objects according to the list of attributes. The Management Plan includes regulations based on the results of the Roof Cadastre for all future roof extensions and conversions.

The Roof Cadastre is currently extended to Iron and Composite Constructions with special attention to the area of the Ringstraße (as the latter can be found mainly in this area).

End of 2021 as part of the Management Plan and Management System.

Independently from the Management Plan the Roof Cadastre will be publicly available after completion.

4

4a: Implementation of a revised design of the Heumarkt Neu project respecting the overall integrity and the authentic character of the logic of the Gründerzeit layout.

At present, the Ringstraße morphology is well maintained (with the exception of minor “disturbances” prior to inscription). The proposed height and building mass would adversely interfere with the historic logic of the ensemble and with its morphology.

The revised project that is not harming the OUV in total and meets said criteria in detail has been assessed through an independent HIA and is either implemented or its implementation guaranteed within the legislative framework (zoning plan / building permission).

Revision of the project currently undergoing a Visual Study and independent HIA to be conducted. HIA concludes that the revised project does not adversely impact upon the OUV of the property including the logic of the Gründerzeit Ensemble, this being a major attribute reflecting the OUV.

Autumn 2020 for the HIA.
End of 2021 for the implementation of the revised legal provisions for the revised design. (please also note N1 in this section)

4b: No further roof top conversions that adversely affect the historic appearance of the Ringstraße ensemble and Gründerzeit layout.

Due to progressing loss of historic fabric in the roof zones the authentic appearance of the urban and architectural heritage of the Gründerzeit era are increasingly threatened.

The Management Plan includes regulations based on the results of the Roof Cadastre and the recommendations provided by the Standards for Built Heritage Conservation for all future roof extensions and conversions.

The Roof Cadastre is currently extended to iron and composite constructions with special attention to the area of the Ringstraße, where these types of constructions mainly appear.

From July 2021 on by way of regular monitoring reports (also note N3 “Protection and Management”).

4c: No inadequate developments within the area of Ringstraße and Glacis.

Currently the Masterplan Glacis allows for uncertain developments without explicitly mentioning the World Heritage status as a basic parameter for any intervention.

The planning tools (particularly the Masterplan Glacis) have been revised according to the findings of the 2012, 2015 and 2018 missions and the related Committee decisions and are based on sound legal provisions adopted by the City Council of Vienna. The planning tools and regulations are an integral part of the Management Plan that has been reviewed, adopted, implemented and its efficacy proven.

The process of developing an integrated management system at present is work in progress.

From July 2021 on by way of regular monitoring reports (also note N3 “Protection and Management”).

5

No further roof top conversions of historically and artistically significant roof constructions.

Roof top conversions in the last years also affected roof constructions of eminent quality, such as originally preserved baroque mansard roofs in the most prominent areas of the property.

The policy based on the results of the Roof Cadastre are implemented through legal measures and encompassed by the Management Plan and related Management System. The Roof Cadastre is available for the public.

The process of developing an integrated management system has been initiated and is work in progress.

The Roof Cadastre is currently prepared for publication and shall be extended to iron and composite constructions.

July 2021 for the implementation of the Management Plan.

End of 2021 for the implementation of the legal provisions on regional level (City of Vienna), which constitute the majority of planning and protection provisions for the property according to the Austrian Federal System. June 2024 at the latest for the implementation of the amended Federal Monuments Protection Act (as the latter applies not only to Vienna but to the whole Federal Republic and has to be adopted by the Austrian Parliament).

6

No further disturbance of the baroque layout and visual integrity of the Belvedere / Schwarzenberg Complex (Palace and Gardens) including the vistas constituting an integral part of the original logic of this baroque Gesamtkunstwerk.

The Belvedere / Schwarzenberg Complex (Palace and Gardens) is a key attribute and major representative of the OUV of the property. The vista constituting an integral feature of this stellar baroque complex compared to its status at time of inscription is disturbed by high-rises.

A description of attributes reflecting and representing the OUV is part of the Management Plan. The Belvedere / Schwarzenberg Garden Complex is anchored in this list as an area of highest protection level. A revised Heumarkt Neu project that constitutes no further interference with this most important vista is either implemented or its implementation is guaranteed within the legislative framework (zoning plan / building permission).

The process of developing an integrated management system has been initiated and is work in progress.

Revision of the project currently undergoing; visual study and HIA to be conducted and project developed to the point that it does not negatively affect the OUV of the property.

July 2021 as integral part of the Management Plan and Management System.

7

Karlsplatz / Wien Museum / Winterthur Building area is redesigned according to the findings of the 2018 Advisory mission and the related mission report.

The projected redesign was considered a benefit for the area.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies reviewed and agreed to the final designs for the extension and redesign of the Wien Museum and Winterthur Building as well as the new landscape designs.

Final landscape designs were submitted to the World Heritage Centre subsequently to the 2018 Advisory mission. Final designs for the Wien Museum currently are work in progress. Conversion of Winterthur House halted; beginning of conversion works currently not foreseeable.

Final designs for the Wien Museum will be available end of 2020 and submitted with the SOC Report in January 2021.

Conversion of Winterthur House only possible according to the design linked to the conversion of the Wien Museum. Regular reports on progress by way of roadmaps and State of conservation reports.

8

Priority to preservation of historic / original building stock of the property.

Perceived inaccuracies and contradictions in the RSOUV as well as a very permissive interpretation of the Vienna Memorandum lead to a predomination of urban renewal instead of enhanced conservation of the existing building stock.

The RSOUV has been clearly and definitively interpreted in the reviewed and adopted Management Plan.

The property is defined as a protection zone according to the Vienna Building Code.
National Monuments Protection is strengthened in accordance with the definition of attributes reflecting the OUV of the property.

Enhanced protection provided by a legal provision within the Viennese Building Code concerning all buildings built before 1945 (enacted 2018). Implementation of further protection measures takes place during the procedure of the elaboration of the Management Plan and the implementation of a related management system. National Monuments Protection is a constant process based on the Federal Monuments Protection Act; specific provisions concerning World Heritage protection will be amended.

July 2021 for the implementation of the Management Plan.

End of 2021 for the implementation of the legal provisions on the regional level (City of Vienna), which constitute the majority of planning and protection provisions for the property according to the Austrian Federal System. June 2024 at the latest for the implementation of the amended Federal Monuments Protection Act (as the latter applies not only to Vienna but to the whole Federal Republic and has to be adopted by the Austrian Parliament).

9

Historic gardens and green spaces in general receive strong statutory protection and play a major role in preservation and management strategies not least with the aim to support and improve climate conditions in the urban area.

There is a gap in the suite of statutory protection mechanisms for the property, such that important gardens are not adequately protected. Already implemented building projects in historic gardens as well as projected development areas evident in the Masterplan Glacis currently are inconsistent with this goal or could cause harm to the generally well-preserved status of green spaces in the property.

The Masterplan Glacis declares green spaces as strict protection zones. Related regulations are evident in the Management Plan. Regulations are provided for enhanced protection of historic gardens within the national Monuments Protection Act or other legal matters concerned.

The implementation takes place during the procedure of the elaboration of the management plan and the implementation of a related management system. National legal regulations shall be implemented during the current legislators’ term that ends in 2024.

January 2021 for submission of the HIA Schwarzenberg Garden.

July 2021 for the Management Plan and Management System. Amendment of legal provisions on Federal level until June 2024 at the latest.

10

Schwarzenberg Garden and Palace are recognized as a major attribute reflecting the OUV of the property and thus anchored in the list of attributes. The protection is ensured by way of the new comprehensive Management System for the Historic Centre of Vienna as well as by an updated garden care-plan taking in account the results of an independent HIA.

Contemporary interventions in the historic garden environment lead to censure and complaints by members of the civil society and experts for historic gardens. Hence the whole area was assessed by the 2018 Advisory mission.

An HIA assessing the developments in Schwarzenberg Garden has been reviewed by the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS. Recommendations provided by a Technical Review have been implemented in the Management Plan of the property.

The HIA is carried out to best international practice guided by adopted Guidelines, by order of the World Heritage Unit in the Federal Ministry for Arts, Culture, Public Service and Sports. The placing of the HIA is work in progress.

The results of the HIA shall be available by the end of 2020. The implementation in the Management System takes place according to the scheduled timeframe (please note relating sections in this document).

INTEGRITY AND AUTHENTICITY

Integrity and Authenticity

1

The RSOUV is interpreted consistently with the initial intentions as adopted by the World Heritage Committee when the property was inscribed on the World Heritage List.

The current version of the RSOUV gives room to misunderstandings due to perceived inaccuracies and contradictions that have the potential to impair the authenticity and integrity of the property as a whole.

The Management Plan includes an adopted statement on the interpretation of the RSOUV consistent with the initial intention of the World Heritage Committee at the time of inscription.

Not yet started. The statement on interpretation of the RSOUV is part of the elaboration of the Management Plan.

July 2021 within the framework of the Management Plan and Management System.

2

The German version of the RSOUV does no longer contain any misguiding terms.

The German translation until 2018 as well as the current version amplified the potential for misinterpretation of the OUV as mentioned above.

The adopted statement on the interpretation of the RSOUV (see above) is publicly available after official translation.

Not yet started. The statement on interpretation of the RSOUV is part of the elaboration of the management plan.

July 2021 within the framework of the Management Plan and Management System.

3

Contemporary interventions in the property, its surrounding buffer zone and all areas that have potential visual impacts on the latter are based on sound assessments giving priority to the requirements of a World Heritage property.

Most of the recently put in place or projected contemporary interventions referred to the Vienna Memorandum. The latter in this context was partly misunderstood or misinterpreted. The Historic Urban Landscape (HUL) recommendations currently are not part of planning tools.

The HUL Recommendation constitutes a basic element within the Management Plan and related Management System and the success of this new Management System is proven through implementation. HIAs are carried out prior to the implementation of projects with potential impact on the authentic character of the property.

The implementation takes place during the procedure of the elaboration of the management plan and the implementation of a related management system.

July 2021 within the framework of the Management Plan and Management System.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2021
44 COM 7A.32
Historic Centre of Vienna (Austria) (C 1033)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 43 COM 7A.45, adopted at its 43rd session (Baku, 2019),
  3. Welcomes the significant progress made by the State Party in implementing previous Committee decisions and progressing towards the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger and, in particular:
    1. The programme for protection of World Heritage announced by the Austrian Government in January 2020, including anchoring of World Heritage properties in the Austrian legal system, sustainable protection and preservation of cultural heritage, and commitment to UNESCO Conventions on Cultural Diversity and the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage,
    2. Progress towards completion of a new Management Plan for the property,
    3. Extension of the coverage of the roof cadastre and its proposed implementation process through the new Management Plan;
  4. Also welcomes the decision not to proceed with the proposed Heumarkt – Ice Skating Club – Vienna Concert Hall tower block as planned, further welcomes the process initiated to develop and evaluate alternative variants for the design and requests the State Party to ensure that the proposed additional visual study assesses the new design and potential impact on the property, having regard to the findings of the 2018 High Level Joint UNESCO/ICOMOS Advisory mission, and that a new Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) is prepared using precisely the same data, methodology and format of the 2019 HIA;
  5. Also requests the State Party to ensure that the new Management Plan for the property is submitted for review by the World Heritage Centre and Advisory Bodies prior to its finalisation and implementation, and that it addresses the findings and recommendations of the 2018 Advisory mission;
  6. Reminds the State Party of the Committee’s previous request to pursue legislative protection for the Schwarzenberg Gardens and to submit final plans and designs for the Wien Museum to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  7. Further requests that the current moratorium be maintained on new developments or planning measures which may impact upon attributes that contribute to the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, pending completion of the new Management Plan, the implementation of the proposed corrective measures, and consequent amendments to planning controls;
  8. Commends the State Party on the elaboration of the Desired state of conservation for removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) and related corrective measures, and particularly the productive collaborative process with the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS;
  9. Adopts the DSOCR developed by the State Party in consultation with the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and all stakeholders, as presented in Document WHC/21/44.COM/7A.Add and urges the State Party to proceed with the implementation of the corrective measures;
  10. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2022, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, including progress achieved in implementing the corrective measures for the DSOCR, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 45th session;
  11. Decides to retain Historic Centre of Vienna (Austria) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
44 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/21/44.COM/7A, WHC/21/44.COM/7A.Add, WHC/21/44.COM/7A.Add.2, WHC/21/44.COM/7A.Add.2.Add),
  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 44 COM 7A.28)
  • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision 44 COM 7A.29)
  • Austria, Historic Centre of Vienna (Decision 44 COM 7A.32)
  • Bolivia (Plurinational State of), City of Potosí (Decision 44 COM 7A.35)
  • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 44 COM 7A.39)
  • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 44 COM 7A.40)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Garamba National Park (Decision 44 COM 7A.41)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 44 COM 7A.42)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 44 COM 7A.43)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Virunga National Park (Decision 44 COM 7A.45)
  • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 44 COM 7A.5)
  • Honduras, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Decision 44 COM 7A.55)
  • Indonesia, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Decision 44 COM 7A.52)
  • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 44 COM 7A.6)
  • Iraq, Hatra (Decision 44 COM 7A.7)
  • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 44 COM 7A.8)
  • Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (site proposed by Jordan) (Decision 44 COM 7A.10)
  • Kenya, Lake Turkana National Parks (Decision 44 COM 7A.47)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Cyrene (Decision 44 COM 7A.11)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Leptis Magna (Decision 44 COM 7A.12)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Sabratha (Decision 44 COM 7A.13)
  • Libya, Old Town of Ghadamès (Decision 44 COM 7A.14)
  • Libya, Rock-Art Sites of Tadrart Acacus (Decision 44 COM 7A.15)
  • Madagascar, Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Decision 44 COM 7A.48)
  • Mali, Old Towns of Djenné (Decision 44 COM 7A.1)
  • Mali, Timbuktu (Decision 44 COM 7A.2)
  • Mali, Tomb of Askia (Decision 44 COM 7A.3)
  • Mexico, Islands and Protected Areas of the Gulf of California (Decision 44 COM 7B.56)
  • Micronesia (Federated States of), Nan Madol: Ceremonial Centre of Eastern Micronesia (Decision 44 COM 7A.30)
  • Niger, Aïr and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 44 COM 7A.49)
  • Palestine, Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir (Decision 44 COM 7A.17)
  • Palestine, Hebron/Al-Khalil Old Town (Decision 44 COM 7A.16)
  • Panama, Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Decision 44 COM 7A.36)
  • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 44 COM 7A.37)
  • Senegal, Niokolo-Koba National Park (Decision 44 COM 7A.50)
  • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 44 COM 7A.33)
  • Solomon Islands, East Rennell (Decision 44 COM 7A.53)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Aleppo (Decision 44 COM 7A.18)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Bosra (Decision 44 COM 7A.19)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Damascus (Decision 44 COM 7A.20)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient Villages of Northern Syria (Decision 44 COM 7A.21)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din (Decision 44 COM 7A.22)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Site of Palmyra (Decision 44 COM 7A.23)
  • Uganda, Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Decision 44 COM 7A.4)
  • United Republic of Tanzania, Selous Game Reserve (Decision 44 COM 7A.51)
  • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 44 COM 7A.54)
  • Uzbekistan, Historic Centre of Shakhrisyabz (Decision 44 COM 7A.31)
  • Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Coro and its Port (Decision 44 COM 7A.38)
  • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 44 COM 7A.25)
  • Yemen, Old City of Sana’a (Decision 44 COM 7A.26)
  • Yemen, Old Walled City of Shibam (Decision 44 COM 7A.27).
Draft Decision: 44 COM 7A.32

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 43 COM 7A.45, adopted at its 43rd session (Baku, 2019),
  3. Welcomes the significant progress made by the State Party in implementing previous Committee decisions and progressing towards the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger and, in particular:
    1. The programme for protection of World Heritage announced by the Austrian Government in January 2020, including anchoring of World Heritage properties in the Austrian legal system, sustainable protection and preservation of cultural heritage, and commitment to UNESCO Conventions on Cultural Diversity and the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage,
    2. Progress towards completion of a new Management Plan for the property,
    3. Extension of the coverage of the roof cadastre and its proposed implementation process through the new Management Plan;
  4. Also welcomes the decision not to proceed with the proposed Heumarkt – Ice Skating Club – Vienna Concert Hall tower block as planned, further welcomes the process initiated to develop and evaluate alternative variants for the design and requests the State Party to ensure that the proposed additional visual study assesses the new design and potential impact on the property, having regard to the findings of the 2018 High Level Joint UNESCO/ICOMOS Advisory mission, and that a new Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) is prepared using precisely the same data, methodology and format of the 2019 HIA;
  5. Also requests the State Party to ensure that the new Management Plan for the property is submitted for review by the World Heritage Centre and Advisory Bodies prior to its finalisation and implementation, and that it addresses the findings and recommendations of the 2018 Advisory mission;
  6. Reminds the State Party of the Committee’s previous request to pursue legislative protection for the Schwarzenberg Gardens and to submit final plans and designs for the Wien Museum to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  7. Further requests that the current moratorium be maintained on new developments or planning measures which may impact upon attributes that contribute to the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, pending completion of the new Management Plan, the implementation of the proposed corrective measures, and consequent amendments to planning controls;
  8. Commends the State Party on the elaboration of the Desired state of conservation for removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) and related corrective measures, and particularly the productive collaborative process with the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS;
  9. Adopts the DSOCR developed by the State Party in consultation with the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and all stakeholders, as presented in Document WHC/21/44.COM/7A.Add and urges the State Party to proceed with the implementation of the corrective measures;
  10. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2022, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, including progress achieved in implementing the corrective measures for the DSOCR, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 45th session in 2022;
  11. Decides to retain Historic Centre of Vienna (Austria) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Report year: 2021
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 (2020) .pdf
Initialy proposed for examination in 2020
arrow_circle_right 44COM (2021)
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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