1.         Upper Middle Rhine Valley (Germany) (C 1066)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2002

Criteria  (ii)(iv)(v)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1066/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1066/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions

February 2008: Joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS advisory mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Noise pollution and traffic increase;

b) Potential impacts by Rhine crossing project.

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1066/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2011

On 20 January 2011, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report addressing the recommendation of the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session (Brasilia, 2010) that any proposed bridge development should be considered within the context of an overall Master Plan for the property to ensure that the bridge contributes towards the overall sustainable development of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley.

a) Master Plan

The State Party reports that it proposes to draw up the Master Plan on the basis of the existing 2001 management plan and the draft Statement of Outstanding Universal Value submitted to the World Heritage Centre in January 2010 (which will be presented to the World Heritage Committee at its 35th session). The Master Plan will not only include an assessment of the management plan’s implementation, but will also review noise pollution as well as demographic and economic developments. Moreover, by presenting the legal framework of the property, it might inspire law improvements. Furthermore, it will explore possibilities of private funding to conserve and develop the site. With a particular focus on creating synergies, the plan will aim to provide an overview of existing activities contributing to the protection of the property and to propose innovative collaborations.

The development of the Master Plan will be carried out by the federal government in collaboration with two federal states and local authorities. It will actively involve local stakeholders in order to foster stewardship of the site. A task force consisting of representatives of the various authorities has been set up. Work should commence in mid-2011 and is scheduled to last for three years.


b) Proposed bridge

The State Party reports that it considers that the World Heritage Committee “assumes that plans will be implemented with a view to constructing a bridge over the River Rhine”. As a significant spatial development project, the construction of a bridge would need to satisfy a spatial planning procedure (Raumordnungsverfahren, ROV) to ensure that regional planning requirements are met through an assessment of the spatial compatibility of a project or plan. Settlements, infrastructure, environment, nature and landscape are considered.

The State Party reports that it is intended to start this process by mid-2011 and complete it by early 2012 and during the process new forms of stakeholder participation will be tested. It is further stated that with feasibility studies and expert reports on traffic, World Heritage compatibility and environmental impacts and an assessment of options already completed, the remaining task relates to spatial and technical details.

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

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies note the details of the proposed wide ranging development of the Master Plan. They consider that, in line with the World Heritage Committee’s decision, the Master Plan should provide the framework for sustainable development of the property and describe how a bridge might be compatible with sustainable development and with the site’s Outstanding Universal Value.

In the second part of the report there appears to be an assumption that all background studies have been carried out for the proposed bridge and that only the spatial planning arrangements remain to be satisfied. However, the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies would like to recall that the impact assessments of the proposed bridge highlighted the extra traffic that would be generated – up to 2,000 extra cars a day – that would add significantly to pollution and noise levels, and that there is currently no clear understanding as to how a bridge might not be highly damaging to the cultural landscape.

As the State Party stated in its 2010 report, the bridge is only one option out of many that might be considered. The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies stress that it is essential for the Master Plan to be completed and approved before proceeding with any plans towards the construction of a bridge. This approach ensures that future developments take into account economic and social aspects of the valley in relation to the site’s Outstanding Universal Value and meet sustainability goals.

Decision Adopted: 35 COM 7B.93

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-11/35.COM/7B,

2. Recalling Decision 34 COM 7B.87 adopted at its 34th session (Brasilia, 2010),

3. Welcomes the information provided by the State Party on the progress towards the development of a Master Plan for the property that will set out how its Outstanding Universal Value will be sustained, and how the property might develop in a sustainable way in relation to traffic, noise pollution and demographic and economic developments;

4. Notes the details provided by the State Party for taking forward the spatial planning procedures for the bridge;

5. Recalls the need for any bridge development to be part of the overall sustainable development of the property;

6. Requests the State Party to finalize and submit to the World Heritage Centre for review the Master Plan before finalizing details of a bridge project in order that traffic and transport development are embedded in the overall sustainable approach to the property;

7. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2013, 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 37th session in 2013.

Decision Adopted: 35 COM 8E

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-11/35.COM/8E,

2. Adopts the retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value, as presented in the Annex I of Document WHC-11/35.COM/8E, for the following World Heritage properties:

3. Decides that retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value for World Heritage properties in Danger will be reviewed in priority;

4. Further decides that, considering the high number of retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value to be examined, the order in which they will be reviewed will follow the Second Cycle of Periodic Reporting, namely: