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Update of the Management Plan of the Historic Monuments Zone of Querétaro (Mexico)

The revised Management Plan for the Historic Monuments Zone of Querétaro aims to improve liveability and quality of life while preserving the World Heritage site’s heritage values, including its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV). It includes several strategic actions, such as urban rehabilitation and renovation programmes, regularisation of informal settlement and enhancement of public spaces. 

About Querétaro

Santiago de Querétaro, also referred to as Querétaro, is a city located in central Mexico. The city has a population of over 600,000 people, and a large metropolitan area with 1 million inhabitants. Querétaro comprises the World Heritage site of Historic Monuments Zone of Querétaro, which was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1996, under criteria (ii) and (iv).

The old colonial town of Querétaro is notable for the many ornate civil and religious Baroque monuments from its golden age in the 17th and 18th centuries. Unusually, the town has retained the geometric street plan of the Spanish conquerors side by side with the twisting alleys of the Indian quarters, showcasing that the Otomi, the Tarasco, the Chichimeca and the Spanish lived together peacefully in the town.

© Municipio de Querétaro

The city stayed within the confines of the historic centre until the second half of the 20th century, when the city underwent a period of expansion and industrial development. This period was accompanied by a population boom, mainly due to internal immigration, with the number of inhabitants increasing from 50,000 inhabitants in 1970 to over 500,000 in the year 2000.

This strong population and development pressures has altered the role of the Historic Monuments Zone within the wider metropolitan area. The role of the city centre as the service provider for the wider metropolitan area has introduced new land uses into the district and its buildings, leading to the adaptation of residential buildings into other functions such as services and commerce.

Management plan of the Historic Monuments Zone of Querétaro

The Historic Monuments Zone of Querétaro is the cultural and urban heart of the city. The area is characterised by its rich cultural heritage, social diversity and variety of land uses, including residential, retail, entertainment, offices, health facilities and administrative buildings.

The update of the Management Plan for the property aims to ensure the protection of its OUV while maintaining and promoting the diversity of uses and communities living within the site, avoiding gentrification and the depopulation of the historic centre, and increasing the quality of life of its residents. The proposed framework aims to increase community involvement in the conservation, restauration and promotion of local heritage values, expressed through the city’s architecture, traditions, customs and natural and built landscapes that define the identity of the city.

The actions planned include:

  • Creation of urban rehabilitation and renovation programmes with a dedicated funding scheme.
  • Identifying opportunities for infill development where necessary and appropriate.
  • Promotion of shared modes of ownership in historic blocks which would allow the use of the central courtyards as shared community spaces.
  • Regularisation of informal settlements.
  • Consolidation of existing commercial and service areas.
  • Enhancement of public spaces: façade maintenance, urban furniture…
  • Supporting actions for local businesses based in historic buildings, such as tax exemptions and reduced permit costs for renovations.

The revised Management Plan of the Historic Monuments Zone of Querétaro aims to enhance the historic centre’s identity and image while improving its public management and increasing the quality of life in the historic city through intersectoral partnerships and collaboration between private and public actors. Also, by revising the Management Plan of the Historic Monument Zone within the wider framework of sustainable development, the Municipality of Querétaro aims to harness the potential of cultural heritage to contribute towards this aim, taking concrete steps towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Contribution towards the implementation of the 2011 Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape

The project aims to contribute to the implementation of the Historic Urban Landscape approach by approaching heritage conservation within the wider framework of sustainable development, and taking a landscape approach to urban heritage management, which considers the local communities, cultural and natural heritage values and wider context of the city.

Historic Urban Landscape Tools

Civic engagement tools Regulatory systems Financial tools

Contribution towards Sustainable Development

The initiative aims to contribute towards Sustainable Development and the following Sustainable Development Goals.

Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

    • Target 11.1: the initiative aims to increase access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services.
    • Target 11.3: the initiative aims to enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanisation and participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management.
    • Target 11.4: the initiative aims to strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage.
    • Target 11.7: the initiative aims to increase public access to safe and accessible public spaces.

Note: the described potential impacts of the projects are only indicative and based on submitted and available information. UNESCO does not endorse the specific initiatives nor ratifies their positive impact.

To learn more


Municipio de Querétaro 

© UNESCO, 2021. Project team: Jyoti Hosagrahar, Alba Zamarbide, Carlota Marijuán Rodríguez, Federico Rudari.
Cover image
© Ko Hon Chiu Vincent

Note: The cases shared in this platform address heritage protection practices in World Heritage sites and beyond. Items being showcased in this website do not entail any type of recognition or inclusion in the World Heritage list or any of its thematic programmes. The practices shared are not assessed in any way by the World Heritage Centre or presented here as model practices nor do they represent complete solutions to heritage management problems. The views expressed by experts and site managers are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the World Heritage Centre. The practices and views shared here are included as a way to provide insights and expand the dialogue on heritage conservation with a view to further urban heritage management practice in general.