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Dresden Elbe Valley

Germany
Factors affecting the property in 2009*
  • Ground transport infrastructure
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports

Four-lane bridge construction project in the property

Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger

Four-lane bridge construction project in the property

Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger

Halting of the bridge project

Corrective Measures for the property

a) Discussions with all stakeholders to find alternative solutions so as to ensure the safeguarding of the outstanding universal value of the property;

b) Review without delay the projects in the property taking into account the results of the visual impact study.

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

a) Discussion with stakeholders from July 2006 to February 2008;

b) Review of projects in the property: ongoing until a solution is found.

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2009
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2009**

September 2006: World Heritage Centre mission to the Cultural Committee of the German Parliament,; November 2006: World Heritage Centre mission to the Court in Bautzen February 2008: World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS Reinforced monitoring mission. 

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2009

At its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006), the World Heritage Committee had expressed great concern about a bridge project, as approved by the City Council, considering that its construction would “irreversibly damage the values and integrity of the property”, based on an independent visual impact study conducted by the Technical University of Aachen(2006). The World Heritage Committee decided to apply the Reinforced monitoring mechanism at its 31st session (Christchurch, 2007) (Decision 31 COM 7A.27) and decided at its 32nd session (Quebec City, 2008) to delete the property from the World Heritage List in the event that the construction of the bridge has an irreversible impact on the outstanding universal value of the property.

The reactive monitoring mission in February 2008, had reviewed the possible adverse impact of a proposed bridge on the river Elbe on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property. The mission concluded that the Elbe crossing of the Waldschloesschen Bridge would, through its sitting, have a considerable negative and irreversible impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage property and the integrity of the cultural landscape.

At its 32nd session, the World HeritageCommittee regretted that the authorities, having allowed the construction works to proceed, had seriously compromised the Outstanding Universal Value of the property; and expressed its deep concern that the work planned will irreversibly damage the Outstanding Universal Value and integrity of the property. The World Heritage Committee asked the State Party to halt immediately the current construction works and restore the property to its former state of conservation and urged it to reconsider the alternative tunnel option.

The 32nd session of the World HeritageCommittee (32 COM 7A.26) decided to continue to apply the Reinforced monitoring mechanism to the property and requested the State Party to provide progress reports as relevant and to submit a report for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 33rd session in 2009.

No progress reports were submitted during 2008. An update report on the situation was submitted by the Permanent Delegation of Germany on 28 January 2009. The report provides information on the establishment and operations of a “Dresden Elbe Valley World Heritage Centre” and a report on management of the World Heritage site from February 2006 to January 2009. This report covers the state of conservation of single monuments and measures taken in the property including architectural conservation, urban development, transport, road construction and other infrastructure issues, nature and environmental considerations, public relations and tourism, collaboration in committees and associations.

 

It also addressed the key question and confirmed that work began on the Waldschlösschen Bridge in August 2007, based on the Dresden Regional Council decision of 8 June 2008. As of mid-November 2008 the foundations for the Elbe Bridge were completed. Work had started in the factory on the steel construction for the supporting structure of the bridge. The report informed that the substructures were finished in January 2009 and that the superstructures which commenced in November 2008 are currently being carried out for completion in June 2011. The road constructions leading to the bridge at the Kaethe Kollwitz Ufer will start in March 2009 for completion in June 2011. On the other side, construction for a connecting tunnel, ramps and road construction started in January 2009 for completion in September 2010.

 

The report also pointed out that all legal procedures at Courts concerning the halting or changing of the current bridge crossing project had been completed with the result that the bridge is being built as planned.

 

At the request of the Mayor of Dresden, a meeting between the State Party, the Mayor, the city authorities, ICOMOS and the World Heritage Centre took place on 14 October 2008 as a follow-up to the World Heritage Committee’s decisions and the state of implementation of the bridge to allow for a dialogue about potential solutions. The meeting did not produce any concrete results.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies conclude that the requests by the World Heritage Committee at its 30th, 31st and 32nd sessions to halt the project and the bridge construction have not been addressed. The authorities commenced the construction prior to the 32nd session, at which the World Heritage Committee decided to retain the Dresden Elbe Valley (Germany) on the List of World Heritage in Danger. It further decided to delete this property from the World Heritage List at its 33rd session in 2009, if the planned works on the bridge continued and the damage already caused was not reversed.

The assessment of all relevant documents now concludes that the planned works on the bridge are continuing, that the project has not been halted and the damage caused to the World Heritage property has not been reversed. The significant infrastructure works so far undertaken have impacted irreversibly on the integrity and outstanding universal value of the property. 

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2009
33 COM 7A.26
Dresden Elbe Valley (Germany) (C 1156)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-09/33.COM/7A,

2. Recalling Decisions 30 COM 7B.77, 31 COM 7A.27 and 32 COM 7A.26, adopted at its 30th (Vilnius, 2006), 31st (Christchurch, 2007) and 32nd (Quebec City, 2008) sessions respectively, and in particular its concern that the construction project of the Waldschlösschen Bridge would irreversibly damage the Outstanding Universal Value and integrity of the property in accordance with Paragraph 179 (b) of the Operational Guidelines,

3. Also recalling the report provided by the reinforced monitoring mission of February 2008 confirming that the current bridge project would irreversibly damage the Outstanding Universal Value and integrity of the property,

4. Further recalling that, according to Article 6.1 of the Convention, the properties inscribed on the World Heritage List constitute World Heritage, the protection of which is the duty of the international community as a whole and recalling further the duty of the international community to assist and to cooperate with States Parties in their endeavour to conserve such heritage,

5. Recalling as well that States Parties have the obligation under the Convention to protect and conserve the World Cultural and Natural Heritage situated on their territory, notably to ensure that effective and active measures are taken for the protection and conservation of such heritage,

6. Notes with deep regret that the State Party was unable to fulfil its obligations defined in the Convention, in particular the obligation to protect and conserve the Outstanding Universal Value, as inscribed, of the World Heritage property of the Dresden Elbe Valley;

7. Regrets that the entreaties of the World Heritage Committee at its 30th, 31st, and 32nd sessions failed to protect the property;

8. Also regrets the fact that the authorities have not halted the project, detrimental to the Outstanding Universal Value of the property and that the damage already caused has not been reversed;

9. Decides to delete the Dresden Elbe Valley (Germany) from the World Heritage List.

10. Notes however the commitment of the State Party to fully explore and exhaust all options towards preserving the Outstanding Universal Value inherent in elements of the Dresden Elbe Valley,

11. Considers that a new nomination for the heritage of Dresden which justifies Outstanding Universal Value could be envisaged, governed by the provisions of Section III of the Operational Guidelines.

33 COM 8C.3
Update of the List of World Heritage in Danger

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Following the examination of the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-09/33.COM/7A, WHC-09/33.COM/7A.Add and WHC-09/33.COM/7A.Add.2, WHC-09/33.COM/7A.Corr),

2. Decides to remove the following properties from the List of World Heritage in Danger:

  • Azerbaijan, Walled City of Baku with the Shirvanshah's Palace and Maiden Tower (Decision 33 COM 7A.25
  • Germany, Dresden Elbe Valley (Decision 33 COM 7A.26)
Draft Decision: 33 COM 7A.26

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-09/33.COM/7A,

2. Recalling Decisions 30 COM 7B.77, 31 COM 7A.27 and 32 COM 7A.26, adopted at its 30th (Vilnius, 2006), 31st (Christchurch, 2007) and 32nd (Quebec City, 2008) sessions respectively, and in particular its concern that the construction project of the Waldschlösschen Bridge would irreversibly damage the Outstanding Universal Value and integrity of the property in accordance with Paragraph 179 (b) of the Operational Guidelines,

3. Also recalling the report provided by the Reinforced monitoring mission of February 2008 confirming that the current bridge project would irreversibly damage the Outstanding Universal Value and integrity of the property,

4. Regrets the fact that the authorities have not halted the project, detrimental to the Outstanding Universal Value and integrity of the property and that the damage already caused has not been reversed;

5. Decides to delete the Dresden Elbe Valley (Germany) from the World Heritage List.

Report year: 2009
Germany
Date of Inscription: 2004
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iii)(iv)(v)
Danger List (dates): 2006-2009
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 33COM (2009)
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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