1.         Historic Centre of Macao (China) (C 1110)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2005

Criteria  (ii)(iii)(iv)(vi)

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/1110/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1110/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

January 2009: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1110/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2021

On 30 November 2020, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1110/documents/, in which the following activities are reported:

Since the 43rd session of the Committee (Baku, 2019), the World Heritage Centre has received a series of third-party information, notably on the construction of high-rise buildings in the vicinity of the property, which were transmitted to the State Party for comments. The State Party provided a response through a letter dated 29 May 2020, including an HIA for the unfinished building located at 18-20 Calçada de Gaio. A Technical Review provided by ICOMOS was transmitted to the State Party on 26 November 2020.

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

The programme of public education initiatives undertaken to increase public awareness and to encourage conservation and celebration of the heritage values of the property is welcome. Progress has been reported with the Master Plan of the Macao Special Administrative Region and with the Protection and Management Plan for the property, but the extended timeframe to complete the necessary regulatory instruments and processes is concerning, given the role of the Management Plan in conserving the OUV of the property. Nevertheless, it remains important that the Management Plan is submitted to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies, as soon as possible and prior to its adoption and implementation. The implementation of HIA processes will further contribute to the ongoing conservation of the property.

ICOMOS provided advice on the unfinished high-rise building project at 18-20 Calçada de Gaio and the construction of high-rise buildings on Avenida do Dr. Rodrigo Rodrigues in its November 2020 technical review. The HIA for the unfinished high-rise building at 18-20 Calçada de Gaio reasonably concluded that reducing the original height of the approved design and finishing the project with the current built height option would not fundamentally affect the OUV of the property, even though there will be some effects on visual corridors between the Mount Fortress and Guia Fortress and Lighthouse. However, it is advised that the design of the upper floors of this building should be revised to be more transparent and less bulky to lessen the visual impact.

With respect to the high-rise buildings on Avenida do Dr. Rodrigo Rodrigues, it is recommended that a detailed urban design and conservation planning study be undertaken for the length of the Avenida, taking into account existing site conditions, legal and planning constraints and HIA requirements. A reduction of the present maximum height limit along the Avenida (as determined in 2008) should be considered and a moratorium placed on new construction approvals until such a time the outcomes from the study have been formally adopted.

Finally, it is recommended that the emerging urban design plan for the New Urban Zones be submitted to the World Heritage Centre as part of the State Party’s commitment to liaise with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies regarding the planning and construction phases of the New Urban Zones and relevant development proposals, including the underground/undersea transit line.

Decision Adopted: 44 COM 7B.141

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 43 COM 7B.57, adopted at its 43rd session (Baku, 2019),
  3. Welcomes the education and awareness-raising initiatives pursued by the State Party regarding the history of the property and its encouragement of the conservation and celebration of the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) and other heritage values;
  4. Takes note of further progress made towards the finalisation of the comprehensive Protection and Management Plan for the property and the development of the Master Plan of the Macao Special Administrative Region (2020-2040), which will assist with the integration of cultural heritage protection into urban planning and development, and reiterates its request to the State Party to submit the Management Plan to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies as soon as possible and prior to its adoption and implementation;
  5. Reiterates its concern that potential new developments may impact adversely on the OUV of the property, and therefore also welcomes the advice from the State Party about the ongoing role of Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs) in conserving the OUV of the property, and encourages the State Party to ensure that potential impacts of new developments, including visual impacts, continue to be evaluated through the preparation of HIAs that comply with the 2011 ICOMOS Guidance on HIAs for Cultural World Heritage Properties;
  6. Also notes that the unfinished high-rise building at 18-20 Calçada de Gaio will be completed to its existing height, but requests that the design of the upper floors of this building be revised to be more transparent and less bulky to lessen their visual impact, and also requests the State Party to undertake a detailed urban design and conservation planning study for the length of the Avenida do Dr. Rodrigo Rodrigues, taking into account existing site conditions, legal and planning constraints, HIA requirements, and to consider a potential reduction of the current maximum height limit and a moratorium on the approval of new constructions until the outcomes of this study have been formally adopted;
  7. Also reiterates its request to the State Party to liaise with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies regarding the aforementioned Master Plan and major projects in the New Urban Zones, such as the underground/undersea transit line, and to follow the recommendations of the Management Plan to ensure that any development project supports rather than endangers the property and its OUV;
  8. Further 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.