1.         Kasbah of Algiers (Algeria) (C 565)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1992

Criteria  (ii)(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/565/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1993-2002)
Total amount approved: USD 92,600
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/565/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount provided to the property: USD 100,000 for an international experts meeting on the safeguarding of the Kasbah of Algiers (Japanese funds-in-trust)

Previous monitoring missions

September 2001: World Heritage Centre expert mission; September 2002: World Heritage Centre mission for evaluating the State of Conservation. From October 2003 to November 2004: 3 World Heritage Centre missions in the framework of training and capacity building activities. From November 2007 to November 2009: Seven World Heritage Centre missions financed by the State Party for the Safeguarding Plan and the issue of the metro. May 2013: ICOMOS Advisory Mission for the development and beautification works in the city of Algiers. June 2015: World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Advisory mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/565/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2023

The State Party submitted a detailed report on the state of conservation of the property on 28 November 2022, a summary of which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/565/documents. The progress made in terms of conservation is presented as follows:

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

The report shows the ongoing efforts made by the State Party to address the issue of conservation of the property in a comprehensive, integrated, and coordinated manner, but also highlights the fact that additional buildings are reaching critical levels of degradation, and that overall at least 48% of the evaluated urban fabric is in an advanced state of degradation (almost 30% of this fabric has not yet been surveyed), which constitutes an ongoing degradation that continues to give cause for concern.

With regard to the physical conservation of the property, the joint efforts of the Wilaya of Algiers and the Ministry of Culture and the Arts currently underway to carry out operations to secure and protect immovable cultural property, as well as the updating of the study of the permanent plan for the safeguarding and valorization, including regulatory and technical provisions for its effective application, are to be commended.

It should also be noted that the actions taken to date to safeguard the property represent a necessary and "obligatory" response to a deterioration that is proving to be very critical and which, in the long term, could jeopardize the very integrity of the property. However, these actions do not seem to define a planning strategy for resolving the problems of widespread and progressive deterioration of the urban fabric, which is both a consequence and a cause of the impoverishment and marginalization of the economic and social fabric of the Kasbah, and which has been observed for decades. It should be noted in this respect that the report contains no socio-economic data on demographics, social composition, housing conditions or activities, particularly in the traditional trade and craft sectors.

After a slowdown between 2020 and 2022, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a difficult economic situation, activities linked to the safeguarding, conservation, and enhancement of the tangible and intangible heritage of the property have resumed, using an approach based, as recommended, on the Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape (2011).

All of the operations and activities illustrated in the report show a very positive new heritage dynamism, which suggests a favourable impact not only on the state of conservation of the property but also on its socio-economic vitality, insofar as it is expected to develop cultural and tourist activities.

In particular, the updating of the PPSMVSS and the involvement of civil society in its implementation are welcomed, as is the support offered to private owners for the restoration of dwellings and the socio-economic and cultural revitalization of the urban fabric. The State Party is invited to submit the revised PPSMVSS to the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies for their opinion as soon as the update has been finalised.

Decision Adopted: 45 COM 7B.135

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/23/45.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 44 COM 7B.123 adopted at its extended 44th session (Fuzhou/online, 2021),
  3. Taking note of the activities carried out by the State Party for the safeguarding, conservation and enhancement of the tangible and intangible heritage of the property and the socio-economic revitalization of its urban fabric, as well as for the involvement of civil society and youth in particular, congratulates the State Party on the progress made in the preservation of the property by taking into account the social, economic and tourism dimensions of the safeguarding of the property and encourages it to continue its efforts;
  4. Notes with satisfaction the initiative for intersectoral consultation and the dialogue established with citizens' associations and the inhabitants of the Kasbah, and also encourages the State Party to maintain an integrated coordination mechanism through the operational establishment of the structure placed under the aegis of the Prime Ministry;
  5. Continues nevertheless to express its concern at the identification of 18 additional buildings in an advanced state of deterioration, and at the results of the expert assessment of nearly 70% of the properties, which show that 48% of them are in a worrying state of deterioration, and urges the State Party to continue its efforts to assess the entire urban fabric of the property and to continue to take the necessary measures to halt its progressive deterioration;
  6. Welcomes the proposed revision of the Permanent Plan for the Safeguarding and Valorization of the Safeguarded Sectors (PPSMVSS), in order to establish regulatory provisions reflecting the current state of conservation, as well as the activities that have enabled civil society to be involved in its implementation, and invites the State Party to submit its revised version to the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies for their opinion;
  7. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2024, 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 47th session.