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City of Quito

Ecuador
Factors affecting the property in 2021*
  • Housing
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Underground transport infrastructure
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Urban development pressures affecting the authenticity of the property
  • Major visitor accommodation and associated infrastructure (works in the Tower of the Complex of the Compañía de Jesús) (issue resolved)
  • Management system/plan (weaknesses in the decision-making mechanisms regarding conservation)
  • Transportation infrastructure (construction of metro, including underground station)
  • Housing
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2021

Total amount granted: USD 100,000 for the project “Risk Management Plan for the Historic Centre of Quito”, implemented from 2016-2018 (UNESCO/Spanish Funds-in-Trust)

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2021
Requests approved: 16 (from 1981-1999)
Total amount approved : 391,800 USD
Missions to the property until 2021**

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

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2021

On 25 November 2019, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/2/documents/, which includes technical annexes on management and conservation issues, as well as on the monitoring and construction of the first Quito metro line and its station at San Francisco Square, as follows:

  • The preparation of the Partial Plan for the Comprehensive Development of the Historical Centre of Quito has continued over the past years and the first two phases (diagnosis and proposal development) were concluded and reported to the Committee at its 42nd session. The third phase corresponds to the new legal framework that legalizes the Partial Plan and will allow its implementation. The corresponding draft revision of Ordinance 260 (in force since 2008) has been prepared. However, the new municipal administration that took office in May 2019 is in the process of drawing up the new Territorial Planning and Development Plan for the Metropolitan District of the City of Quito 2019-2023 with which the Partial Plan needs to be harmonized. Any changes that may occur to the Partial Plan during this process will be communicated to the World Heritage Centre;
  • The Disaster Risk Management Plan for the Core Area of the Historical Centre of Quito has been developed. Risk management will now focus on an area of 60 blocks in the historical centre in which priority is given to monumental buildings of civil and religious architecture and public spaces. In a second stage, the whole area of the historical centre will be considered, with emphasis on housing and services in historical structures. A rental housing programme has been elaborated for municipal property premises in the Historic Centre;
  • Regarding the construction of the metro line and the station at San Francisco Square, it is reported that construction was completed in January 2019. ICOMOS participated in the monitoring process through the provision of technical advice. Reports of vibration monitoring and surface settlements corroborated that there are no abnormalities or ground movement that could affect the stability of surrounding buildings, and that the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) has not been affected;
  • The municipal authorities are studying the regulation of uses and functions in buildings and public spaces at each metro station, especially at San Francisco Square, in anticipation of the operation of the metro and its possible impact on pedestrian flows, uses and functions.

The report also includes a description of the damage caused by civil unrest in October 2019 that mainly affected the pavements of streets and public spaces and resulted in graffiti on the buildings’ walls. Immediately after the events, the local and national authorities, and the local population undertook the necessary cleaning and restoration works.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2021

It is recalled that over the past five years, the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS have intensively accompanied developments in Quito, as is testified by two mission reports since 2013 and six technical reviews since January 2015. The main areas of attention were the preparation of a Management Plan for the historical centre, and the construction of a metro line through the historical centre and of a metro station at San Francisco Square.

It is regrettable that the Management Plan (referred to as the “Partial Plan for the Comprehensive Development of the Historical Centre of Quito”), which has been under preparation for many years, has not yet been formally approved. However, it is welcomed that a draft Partial Plan has been prepared. It is noted that the State Party submitted extensive legal advice on the revision of Ordinance 260 that will provide the legal framework for the implementation of the Partial Plan. It is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to submit the final draft of the revision of Ordinance 260 as soon as possible. ICOMOS will then be able to undertake an integrated technical review of the Partial Plan and the revision of Ordinance 260 for transmission to the State Party.

The Disaster Risk Management Plan and rental housing strategies are welcome. It is recommended that the Committee encourage the State Party to continue these lines of action and to consider the recommendations of the ICOMOS technical review.

Regarding the location of the metro station at San Francisco Square, no follow-up was given to the recommendation of the World Heritage Committee to further explore alternative locations. Its construction was concluded in December 2017. It is recommended that the Committee also request the State Party to submit the regulations of uses and functions in the buildings and public spaces at San Francisco Square to the World Heritage Centre as soon as they become available.

The construction of the metro tunnel was completed in January 2019. While it should be acknowledged that no incident took place during and after construction, and that the OUV of the property was not affected, it would have been recommendable to systematically implement the monitoring plan and ICOMOS’ recommendations regarding inclinometers that extend to approximately 2 times the depth of excavation to establish fixity, amongst others.

Regarding the incidents that occurred during the civil unrest in 2019, it is noted that the damage was quickly mitigated and repaired in a participatory manner with the local population and the national and local authorities.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2021
44 COM 7B.67
City of Quito (Ecuador) (C 2)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 42 COM 7B.38, adopted at its 42nd session (Manama, 2018),
  3. Welcomes the advances in the preparation of the Partial Plan for the Comprehensive Development of the Historical Centre of Quito, but expresses its regret that to date no formal Management Plan for the property has been approved, and urges the State Party to:
    1. Continue the harmonization process of the Partial Plan and the Territorial Planning and Development Plan for the Metropolitan District of the City of Quito 2019-2023,
    2. Integrate any changes that may occur during this process into the final version of the Partial Plan and submit this plan, together with the final draft of the revision of Ordinance 260, which provides the legal framework for its implementation, to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  4. Also welcomes the strategy for the housing programme for rental in historical buildings, and the Disaster Risk Management Plan for the Core Area of the Historical Centre of Quito, and requests the State Party to consider the recommendations of the ICOMOS technical review;
  5. Notes that the construction of the metro station at San Francisco Square and the metro tunnel under the World Heritage property has been concluded, and also urges the State Party to:
    1. Continue monitoring and mitigation programmes,
    2. Develop a programme to assess, once the metro line is in operation, the station’s impact on pedestrian flows and the uses and functions of the square and its surrounding buildings;
  6. Congratulates the State Party for its swift and participatory response to the damages caused by civil unrest in 2019;
  7. Also 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.67

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 42 COM 7B.38, adopted at its 42nd session (Manama, 2018),
  3. Welcomes the advances in the preparation of the Partial Plan for the Comprehensive Development of the Historical Centre of Quito, but expresses its regret that to date no formal Management Plan for the property has been approved, and urges the State Party to:
    1. Continue the harmonization process of the Partial Plan and the Territorial Planning and Development Plan for the Metropolitan District of the City of Quito 2019-2023,
    2. Integrate any changes that may occur during this process into the final version of the Partial Plan and submit this plan, together with the final draft of the revision of Ordinance 260, which provides the legal framework for its implementation, to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  4. Also welcomes the strategy for the housing programme for rental in historical buildings, and the Disaster Risk Management Plan for the Core Area of the Historical Centre of Quito, and requests the State Party to consider the recommendations of the ICOMOS technical review;
  5. Notes that the construction of the metro station at San Francisco Square and the metro tunnel under the World Heritage property has been concluded, and also urges the State Party to:
    1. Continue monitoring and mitigation programmes,
    2. Develop a programme to assess, once the metro line is in operation, the station’s impact on pedestrian flows and the uses and functions of the square and its surrounding buildings;
  6. Congratulates the State Party for its swift and participatory response to the damages caused by civil unrest in 2019;
  7. Also 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
Ecuador
Date of Inscription: 1978
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iv)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2019) .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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