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Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs

France
Factors affecting the property in 2010*
  • Legal framework
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2010
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2010**
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2010

In February and September 2009 information was brought to the knowledge of the World Heritage Centre by two associations expressing their strong concerns regarding the revision of the two Architectural, Urban and Heritage Landscape Protection Zones (ZPPAUP), one for the Upper Town and the second for the Lower Town, susceptible to affect the protection of the World Heritage property.

Consequently, on 26 February and 30 September 2009, the World Heritage Centre requested the State Party for their comments with regard to this revision. On 23 December 2009, a report was received from the Permanent Delegation of France to UNESCO. This report indicated that the Mayor of Provins has decided upon the revision of the two ZPPAUPs in order to facilitate the urbanisation of three currently non-constructible sectors in the local town plan and protected by the two ZPPAUPs. Thus, two construction projects are envisaged in the buffer zone of the property: 1) at the foot of the ramparts in the non-constructible zone (Saint-Jean Gate), 2) Les Courtils, in a flood risk zone.

In its report, the State Party acknowledges that this revision project raises certain difficulties:

a) The two access routes foreseen to link the planned development zone for 700 houses in Upper Provins with the town must cross through a wooded sector of the ZPPAUP and thus modify and in fact remove a part of the wooded area that preserves the visual aspect of the inscribed World Heritage property and maintains the rural character of its surroundings;

b) The creation of a new constructible zone in the “Les Courtils” hamlet, protected moreover as a listed wooded area, also risks affecting the value of the property. It would lead to a strong risk of “urban sprawl” on the periphery of the property by similar requests from other hamlets.;

c) The creation of a constructible zone at the Saint-Jean Gate, one of the main entrances to the fortified town, and in the immediate vicinity of the property, to remove a depot and install a brickwork company, would have a major negative impact and cause irreversible damage to the protection of the entire property.

The report of the State Party underlines that, despite unfavourable advice from the Chief of the Departmental Service for Architecture and Heritage, and the Regional Commission for Heritage and Sites in June 2009, on 29 July 2009 the Prefet of Seine-et-Marne pronounced in favour of the revision of the two ZPPAUPs.

The World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS thank the State Party for its objective report that clearly highlights the potential impacts of the new constructions in the framework of the revised ZPPAUPs on the value and integrity of the property, and shares the concerns that have been expressed. It is to be noted that the nomination dossier of this property evokes the ZPPAUPs as one of the measures guaranteeing the protection and management of the property and its immediate area. Consequently, the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS consider that any measure that weakens the protection of World Heritage appears most unwise. Also, they question the fact that the authorities have decided to approve the revision of the ZPPAUPs despite the unfavourable advice of the competent regional services.

The problem necessitates an in-depth analysis of the needs of the community in order to establish a balance between the conservation requirements to maintain the Outstanding Universal Value of the property and the demands of an evolving community. 

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2010
34 COM 7B.84
Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs (France) (C 873 rev)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-10/34.COM/7B,

2. Takes note of information provided by the State Party in response to concerns raised by the revision of the Architectural, Urban and Heritage Landscape Protection Zones (ZPPAUP);

3. Regrets the decision concerning the revision of the ZPPAUPs, despite the unfavorable advice of the competent regional services, thus weakening the protection of the entire property;

4. Requests the State Party to reconsider the decision concerning the revision of the ZPPAUPs in order to guarantee a satisfactory legal protection and procedural authorization adapted to the status of the property and its buffer zone, and to avoid any construction negatively impacting on its Outstanding Universal Value and its integrity;

5. Also requests the State Party to provide the World Heritage Centre, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, with detailed information and impact studies of any project affecting the World Heritage property, for evaluation by the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS, before granting any irreversible authorization;

6. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, before 1 February 2012, a detailed report on the state of conservation of the property and progress achieved in the implementation of the above recommendations, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 36th session in 2012.

Draft Decision: 34 COM 7B.84

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-10/34.COM/7B;

2. Takes note of information provided by the State Party in response to concerns raised by the revision of the Architectural, Urban and Heritage Landscape Protection Zones (ZPPAUP);

3. Regrets the decision concerning the revision of the ZPPAUPs, despite the unfavourable advice of the competent regional services, thus weakening the protection of the entire property;

4. Requests the State Party to reconsider the decision concerning the revision of the ZPPAUPs in order to guarantee a satisfactory legal protection and procedural authorization adapted to the statute of the property and its buffer zone, and to avoid any construction negatively impacting on its Outstanding Universal Value and its integrity;

5. Also requests the State Party to provide the World Heritage Centre, in conformity with paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, with detailed information and impact studies of any project affecting the World Heritage property, for evaluation by the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS, before granting any irreversible authorization;

6. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, before 1 February 2012, a detailed report on the state of conservation of the property and progress achieved in the implementation of the above recommendations, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 36th session in 2012.

Report year: 2010
France
Date of Inscription: 2001
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iv)
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 34COM (2010)
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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