Year of inscription on the World Heritage List 2005
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/1170/documents/
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 9,348
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1170/assistance/
UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds
Previous monitoring missions
Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports
Changes in the built fabric: construction and restoration projects
Illustrative material see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1170/
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2009
The World Heritage Committee at its 32nd session (Decision 32 COM 7B.107, Quebec City, 2008) expressed its concern about numerous construction and restoration projects within the boundaries of the property which could affect its Outstanding Universal Value and requested the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission to assess the state of conservation of the property and to evaluate the potential impact of the development projects under consideration on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property. The Committee also requested the State Party to delay all construction works until the afore-mentioned mission has taken place and the impact study is available, as well as to submit to the World Heritage Centre a detailed state of conservation report including, the description of any intention to undertake or to authorize major restoration or new construction which may affect the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 33rd session in 2009.
The State Party submitted a state of conservation report on 27 January 2009.
The report provides a list of Yaroslavl Region normative legislative acts aimed at the preservation of the property. It also reports that there were 23 properties in the property to be restored during 2008 at an estimated cost of 112 million roubles. In addition another 21 properties are being restored by investors, with a further 20 new building projects licensed by the Yaroslavl Mayor's office. Illustrated details of these are included in the report.
The report also lists a number of sanctions imposed on cultural heritage properties involving:
- 40 court cases
- 19 Public Prosecution complaints
- 39 penalty claim letters
- 159 prescriptions of breach of protection terms sent to occupants
- 5 administrative measures.
Consequently in the period 2005-8, the State Building Inspection of the Regional Administration imposed fines upon 105 responsible occupants; brought actions against 2 occupants; and brought 27 issues before public prosecution bodies.
The Urban Master Plan for Yaroslavl was established in 2006, and provides a general development strategy for city planning until 2030, with the first stage of development due by 2010.
A regulatory act regarding the conservation area of the property "The Historical Centre of Yaroslavl" was initiated in 2008. It notes that house building must be restricted; restoration work must be carried out in accordance with Regulations; the surrounding characteristics should be retained; and original appearance of buildings remains. In the historic centre a number of restrictions are imposed, including:
- Measures to reduce the amount of damaging freight traffic
- Construction of new buildings
- Rebuilding and restoration to be carried out in accordance with the regulatory act
- Restricting the construction of high-rise
- Demolitions, the need for surveys and planning integration
- Control on engineering equipment on building facades
- Restrictions on temporary buildings
- Restrictions on advertising on buildings.
The report notes that UNESCO must be informed of renovation or construction that can affect the value of the property. It also notes that considerable efforts are being made to expand the tourist infrastructure, with 19 hotels being constructed by 2010 and 71.7 million roubles being allocated to current tourism development programme.
The joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission to the Historical City of Yaroslavl was carried out from 11 to 15 May 2009. The mission evaluated the information provided by the State Party, as well as the projects within the boundaries of the property and its buffer zone which could affect its Outstanding Universal Value and integrity.
The overall conclusion of the mission is that, to this date, the Outstanding Universal Value of the property has not been irreversibly threatened by the restoration and renovation projects for the millennium celebration of the City of Yaroslavl in 2010. However, the changes to the horizontal urban skyline through the construction of the new Cathedral of the Assumption situated at the Volga embankment within the boundaries of the property has impacted adversely on visual integrity and on authenticity in terms of the ability of the main structures of the historic city to reflect their value.
The creation of this new urban skyline dominates the city. This change brings the risk that the height of the new Cathedral could be used, in the future, as an “authentic urban element”, in order to increase the existing limit of height for new constructions.
Particular attention has to be paid to the careful review of all projects and urban planning, as there is considerable interest by developers and promoters since the inscription of this property on the World Heritage List. While the authorities provided assurances that prior to the delivery of construction permissions, all existing juridical instruments are taken into account, the mission has been informed about some situations, where the site manager and concerned authorities did not appear to be involved in a project review and approval of the construction permissions.
All the high rise projects proposed on the embankment of the Volga have been cancelled or postponed for future planning.
The provision of information to the Word Heritage Centre and to ICOMOS, as well as to the general public about proposed projects has been inadequate.
The recommendations of the mission are specifically:
a) The process of review and delivery of the building permissions should be clearly established and approved in conformity with the official juridical documents, in order to fully involve all stakeholders concerned;
b) All projects which could impact on the Outstanding Universal Value, integrity and authenticity of the property should be officially transmitted by the authority responsible for the site management directly to the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS, for review, prior to any approval and delivery of the building permissions;
c) The planning and decision making processes should be made transparent to the public;
d) The administration in charge of the process of monitoring of the state of conservation of the property should be clarified and agreed with the Federal authorities;
e) The human resources for the management and monitoring of the property should be adequate;
f) The excessive use and opening of underground spaces should be limited within the boundaries of the World Heritage property and its buffer zone;
g) The use of new and inappropriate materials (such as metal and glass) as main materials on the facades should be avoided;
h) Restrictions of outdoor advertisements should be implemented.
The World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS are concerned at the major changes to the property’s skyline that have occurred without prior notification, particularly the construction of the new Cathedral of the Assumption. They consider that the gradual changes to the urban fabric represent a potential threat that could affect the Outstanding Universal Value of the property. The establishment of clear, transparent and effective coordination between the authorities concerned with direct involvement of the international experts in the process of the evaluation of all projects which could represent a potential threat to this property is a necessary step in its monitoring and management and needs to be put in place as a matter of urgency.
Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM
Decision Adopted: 33 COM 7B.120
The World Heritage Committee,
1. Having examined Document WHC-09/33.COM/7B.Add,
2. Recalling Decision 32 COM 7B.107, adopted at its 32nd session (Quebec City, 2008
3. Acknowledges the results of the May 2009 World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission;
4. Notes the restoration and renovation efforts of the Regional and local authorities in the preparation of the celebration of the millennium of the City of Yaroslavl;
5. Expresses its serious concern about the changes to the horizontal urban skyline and in particular the construction of a new cathedral of the Assumption;
6. Reiterates its concern about numerous planned constructions within the boundaries of the property which could affect its Outstanding Universal Value;
7. Requests the State Party to pay particular attention to paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines and to provide to the World Heritage Centre information on all major projects within the boundaries of the property which could affect its Outstanding Universal Value prior to its evaluation, review, recommendations and approval by the authorities;
8. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2011, a detailed progress report on the implementation of the recommendations of the May 2009 World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission and on state of conservation of the property, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session in 2011.