1.         Brasilia (Brazil) (C 445)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1987

Criteria  (i)(iv)

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/445/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1997-2000)
Total amount approved: USD 42,000
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/445/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

1993: technical mission; November 2001: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS mission; March 2012: 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/445/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2021

On 30 November 2020, the State Party presented a state of conservation report, which is available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/445/documents/, and responds in part to Decision 43 COM 7B.96 of the World Heritage Committee, as follows:

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

The renewal of the Technical Support Agreement between IPHAN and the GDF up to June 2024, the actions and projects related to the conservation and eventual restoration of heritage buildings and sites, and the activities regarding promotion and interpretation of the property, are noted with appreciation. The State Party should consider a future institutionalization of the Technical Support Agreement in a broader Management Committee in the longer term.

The Committee may wish to welcome that the PPCUB was evaluated by IPHAN in December 2019 and is currently being revised by the SEDUH. As reported by the State Party, the ongoing revision of the Plan includes taking into account suggestions made by IPHAN and other organizations; it is recommended that the Committee invite the State Party to submit the Plan, once revised, to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies.

As for the elaboration of the Management Plan and the constitution of the Management Committee, the State Party reports a timeframe of one and two years, respectively. Even though those actions are acknowledged, it is unclear whether the planned constitution of the Management Committee only in 2022 might delay the full implementation of the plan, once approved. Considering the existence of project proposals that could constitute a potential risk to the preservation of the property, such as those mentioned in the report or others that could come in the future, it is considered that both the elaboration of the Management Plan and the constitution of the Management Committee should be considered priority actions that it would be advisable to envisage by the end of 2021.  

The Viva Centro! and Pátio Ferroviário de Brasilia projects are particular cause for concern. Regarding the former, the change of uses and the inclusion of housing in the commercial sector would imply an alteration of the scales described and designed in Lucio Costa’s Plano Piloto, one of the main attributes of Outstanding Universal Value (OUV). The second project, involving land development of unoccupied areas of the buffer zone, would signify an irreversible alteration of part of the original plan of Brasilia. The negative impact of this proposal would not be limited to visual aspects, caused by its proximity to the Monumental Axis, but would also result in the further alteration of the relationship between the Plano Piloto and its surrounding natural areas, and increase the pressure on the World Heritage property provoked by an increased number of inhabitants and vehicular traffic; the State Party itself acknowledges concerns about this project. It is therefore recommended that the Committee request the State Party to halt the ongoing processes of discussion and elaboration of both proposals until a clear management and legal framework, based on the preservation of the OUV and the attributes that convey it, is in place. It is also recommended that the State Party ensure that any major interventions to the property are first reviewed, as defined in Title IV of IPHAN Ordinance 421/2018, and approved by the Technical Support Group.

Therefore, despite the reported progress regarding the current revision of the PPCUB and the elaboration of the Management Plan, the framework for the conservation of the property is still fragile, and several of the recommendations of the 2012 joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission have not yet been implemented, including some of those considered priorities. In this context, proposals such as Viva Centro! and Pátio Ferroviário de Brasilia put in evidence a lack of adequate understanding of the OUV and its attributes, especially the four scales on which Lucio Costa’s Plano Piloto is based. Any potential discussion on the alteration of the land uses within the boundaries of the property and its buffer zone should be based on the consideration of the preservation of the attributes of OUV, and any proposal that could put this at risk should be avoided. It is also advised that IPHAN be involved in these projects from the early stages of the proposals.

Decision Adopted: 44 COM 7B.163

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 43 COM 7B.96, adopted at its 43rd session (Baku, 2019),
  3. Welcomes the renewal of the Technical Support Agreement between the National Historic and Artistic Heritage Institute (IPHAN) and the Government of the Federal District (GDF), and the activities and projects related to the conservation and eventual restoration of heritage buildings and sites, and to the promotion and interpretation of the property;
  4. Notes with satisfaction that the draft Preservation Plan for the Urban Ensemble of Brasilia (PPCUB) was evaluated by IPHAN in December 2019 and is currently being revised by the State Secretariat for Urban Development and Housing (SEDUH), and requests the State Party to submit the plan, once revised, together with IPHAN’s technical opinion, to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  5. Notes that a timeframe for the elaboration of the Management Plan and the constitution of the Management Committee is proposed, but also requests the State Party to envisage the conclusion of both actions by the end of 2021, so that the Management Plan can be approved and put in place;
  6. Notes with concern that new projects that could jeopardise the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property and its attributes are proposed, urges the State Party to halt the ongoing processes of discussion and elaboration of projects until a clear management and legal framework, based on the preservation of the OUV and the attributes that convey it, is in place, and further requests the State Party to ensure that major interventions to the property are first reviewed as defined in Title IV of IPHAN Ordinance 421/2018 and approved by the Technical Support Group, and to keep the World Heritage Centre informed of any potential projects that may negatively impact the OUV of the property, in line with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  7. Also urges the State Party to fully implement the recommendations of the 2012 joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission;
  8. Requests furthermore the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 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.