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Historic Centre of the City of Salzburg

Austria
Factors affecting the property in 2021*
  • Housing
  • Legal framework
  • Management systems/ management plan
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Water infrastructure (hydroelectric power station Salzburg-Lehen) (issue resolved)
  • Ground transport infrastructure (train station project outside the buffer zone) (issue resolved)
  • Housing (urban development pressure, high-rise projects)
  • Management systems/ management plan (integrated approach towards management; apparent lack of legislative and planning mechanisms)
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2021
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2021**

January 2009: joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission; April 2013: ICOMOS Advisory mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2021

On 3 February 2020, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/784/documents/ and reports on the following:

  • Residential Area Dr. Franz-Rehrl Platz (‘City Life’): Latest version plans show minor revision of building heights;
  • Nelböck Viaduct Rainerstrasse / Bahnhofsvorplatz: The project was finalized with a total building height of 52.9 m. The State Party submitted photos of other nearby high-rise buildings along with a photo showing the current skyline;
  • Paracelsus indoor swimming pool: The project was finalized with a homogenous façade, as reported in the state of conservation report in 2018. The State Party reports a minor negative impact on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV);
  • Schwarzstrasse 45 / Ernest-Thun-Strasse: Construction was finalized in 2016;
  • Priesterhausgarten housing project: A Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA), carried out in 2019, concluded that the project in its current form would adversely affect the OUV of the property. It advised that the present plans should not be implemented. The relocation of the touristic bus terminal is urgent and any temporary use must not have any further impacts. Improving the management measures in the buffer zone must be considered. The developers have not taken any further actions since the conclusions of the HIA were published;
  • Submission of the revision of the Management Plan: The City of Salzburg revised the Management Plan, reference to Environmental and Heritage Impact Assessments (EIAs/HIAs) and use of a newly developed digital 3D city model. Test implementation commenced in February 2020;
  • Legislative and planning mechanisms: In addition to the Conservation Act for the Historic Town, the City Council adopted special regulations for large-scale developments outside the boundaries of the protection zone in November 2019, which stipulate that project dossiers for “sensitive areas” (e.g. near the buffer zone or with possible impacts on vistas with historic significance) should include analyses about the surrounding historic building stock and structures, for revision by an expert commission. The State Party reports that a comprehensive land use plan does not seem to be a practicable and sufficient management instrument;
  • Dialogue with the local communities: ‘World Heritage Quarter Dialogues’, instituted to foster the involvement of the local communities in the safeguarding of the historic quarters, will be continued in 2019 and 2020;
  • The proposed remodelling of the building at Herbert-von-Karajan Square 9 will be presented to the World Heritage Centre for review in accordance with the regulations of the new Management Plan.

On 29 January 2021, the State Party submitted additional information regarding the following issues:

  • Residential Area Dr. Franz-Rehrl Platz (‘City Life’): additional visualizations showing cityscapes including the project from different viewpoints;
  • Restoration and extension of the Mozarteum Foundation: visualizations showing cityscapes and photographs of the building.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2021

Although the State Party submitted copies of the final plans of the Dr. Franz-Rehrl-Platz residential project, including additional visualisations, the submitted information is not adequate to review the potential impact of the project. As per previous Committee Decisions, the State Party should still provide detailed information on the latest revisions of the project, including sections, façade drawings, and 3D CG simulation to show the project within its surroundings, before any irreversible decisions are made, for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies.

While the State Party informed the World Heritage Centre about the restoration and extension of the Mozarteum Foundation, it is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to submit detailed project information, including a motivation, photographs of the existing exterior and interior, floor plans, sections, all façade drawings and 3D visualizations to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies. Similar information should be submitted on the remodelling of the Salzburger Festspiele Building (Herbert-von-Karajan-Square 9). 

The Nelböck Viaduct Rainerstrasse / Bahnhofsvorplatz project has regrettably been completed before agreement was reached about the project and without any visual material for the project being submitted to the World Heritage Centre as per previous Committee Decisions. Similarly, the Paracelsus indoor swimming pool has been finalized.

Regarding the building at Schwarzstrasse 45 / Ernest-Thun-Strasse, the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies regret that it was built in 2016 despite the negative impact on the visual integrity of the property, especially on its vista toward the skyline of the mountain setting from the bank of river Salzach, and with its disturbing contrast to the neighbouring buildings. No further information on the final construction and its visualization has yet been submitted. It is recommended that the Committee reiterate its request to the State Party to provide further information on how to reduce the adverse effect created by this project on the OUV of the property and include a similar request on the Nelböck Viaduct Rainerstrasse / Bahnhofsvorplatz project and Paracelsus pool.

The World Heritage Centre and Advisory Bodies support the conclusion of the 2019 HIA for the Priesterhausgarten project that, in its current version, would adversely affect the OUV of the property. The State Party should keep the World Heritage Centre informed without any delay with regard to any future developments of this project.

HIAs should be carried out for any future major project that may have a negative impact to the OUV of the property, within the property or in adjacent areas.

The revision and submission of the revised management plan is welcomed as an important accomplishment. Standardization of the monitoring system, references to the need for HIAs and inclusion of a consultation mechanism for private projects are welcome, but greater clarity is needed on the definition of the attributes that convey OUV, on how coordination mechanisms will work between different divisions and various plans inside the city or between the city and the federal state and the federal government. The Management Plan is currently in test operation; further updates should therefore be provided to the World Heritage Centre, as it is important to ensure its effective implementation.

While welcoming the City Council’s new regulations for large-scale developments outside the boundaries of the protection zone to control developments near the buffer zone, or with possible impacts on vistas and attributes, as well as the setting of the OUV, it is crucial to establish a comprehensive land use plan to control the urban sprawl, protect green areas, safeguard existing visual axes and protect the setting of the property.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2021
44 COM 7B.41
Historic Centre of the City of Salzburg (Austria) (C 784)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 43 COM 7B.80, adopted at its 43rd session (Baku, 2019),
  3. Deeply regrets that the Schwarzstrasse 45 / Ernest-Thun-Strasse project, the Nelböck Viaduct Rainerstrasse / Bahnhofsvorplatz project and the Paracelsus indoor swimming pool were completed before agreement was reached on their designs, despite the requests made at its previous sessions, and the negative impact of these projects on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property; requests the State Party to provide further information on the final constructions, and develop measures to mitigate the negative impacts of these projects on the OUV of the property and submit these to the World Heritage Centre for review before implementing them;
  4. Also requests the State Party to resubmit the latest version of detailed plans, including sections, façade drawings, and 3D CG simulation to show the project within its surroundings, for the development at the Residential Area Dr. Franz-Rehrl Platz (Residential Buildings City Life Rehrlplatz), which takes into account Decision 41 COM 7B.41 and 43 COM 7B.80, and to submit detailed project information, including sections, all façade drawings, and 3D visualizations for the modification of the Mozarteum Foundation and the Salzburger Festspiele Building to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies before any rights are granted or implementation undertaken;
  5. Acknowledges the reported Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) on the Priesterhausgarten housing project undertaken in 2019 concluded that the project in its current version would adversely affect the OUV of the property and further requests the State Party to keep the World Heritage Centre informed without any delay with regard to any future developments of this project;
  6. Welcomes the submission of the revised Management Plan, notes that the Advisory Bodies will provide a technical review to assist the State Party for further revision before its final adoption, requests furthermore the State Party to provide the World Heritage Centre with regular and updated information on the results of the testing phase of the Management Plan implementation;
  7. Also welcomes progress made and efforts of the State Party concerning the introduction of new regulations for large-scale developments outside the property boundaries and near the buffer zone to ensure adequate protection and control of the property and its landscape setting, reiterates its requests to develop a comprehensive Urban Land Use Plan to further strengthen the protection of the setting of the property;
  8. Requests moreover the State Party to carry out HIAs, including visual impact assessments for projects which may have a negative impact on the OUV of the property, in conformity with the 2011 ICOMOS Guidance on HIAs for Cultural World Heritage properties, before any irrevocable decisions are taken concerning the projects;
  9. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2022, 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 46th session.
Draft Decision: 44 COM 7B.41

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 43 COM 7B.80, adopted at its 43rd session (Baku, 2019),
  3. Deeply regrets that the Schwarzstrasse 45 / Ernest-Thun-Strasse project, the Nelböck Viaduct Rainerstrasse / Bahnhofsvorplatz project and the Paracelsus indoor swimming pool were completed before agreement was reached on their designs, despite the requests made at its previous sessions, and the negative impact of these projects on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property; requests the State Party to provide further information on the final constructions, and develop measures to mitigate the negative impacts of these projects on the OUV of the property and submit these to the World Heritage Centre for review before implementing them;
  4. Also requests the State Party to resubmit the latest version of detailed plans, including sections, façade drawings, and 3D CG simulation to show the project within its surroundings, for the development at the Residential Area Dr. Franz-Rehrl Platz (Residential Buildings City Life Rehrlplatz), which takes into account Decision 41 COM 7B.41 and 43 COM 7B.80, and to submit detailed project information, including sections, all façade drawings, and 3D visualizations for the modification of the Mozarteum Foundation and the Salzburger Festspiele Building to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies before any rights are granted or implementation undertaken;
  5. Acknowledges the reported Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) on the Priesterhausgarten housing project undertaken in 2019 concluded that the project in its current version would adversely affect the OUV of the property and further requests the State Party to keep the World Heritage Centre informed without any delay with regard to any future developments of this project;
  6. Welcomes the submission of the revised Management Plan, notes that the Advisory Bodies will provide a technical review to assist the State Party for further revision before its final adoption, requests furthermore the State Party to provide the World Heritage Centre with regular and updated information on the results of the testing phase of the Management Plan implementation;
  7. Also welcomes progress made and efforts of the State Party concerning the introduction of new regulations for large-scale developments outside the property boundaries and near the buffer zone to ensure adequate protection and control of the property and its landscape setting, reiterates its requests to develop a comprehensive Urban Land Use Plan to further strengthen the protection of the setting of the property;
  8. Requests moreover the State Party to carry out HIAs, including visual impact assessments for projects which may have a negative impact on the OUV of the property, in conformity with the 2011 ICOMOS Guidance on HIAs for Cultural World Heritage properties, before any irrevocable decisions are taken concerning the projects;
  9. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2022, 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 46th session in 2023.
Report year: 2021
Austria
Date of Inscription: 1996
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iv)(vi)
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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