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Budapest, including the Banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter and Andrássy Avenue

Hungary
Factors affecting the property in 2023*
  • Deliberate destruction of heritage
  • Effects arising from use of transportation infrastructure
  • Housing
  • Identity, social cohesion, changes in local population and community
  • Legal framework
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Other Threats:

    Lack of conservation of residential housing in the area inscribed as World Heritage

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Large scale reconstruction
  • Building heights and regulations
  • Demolition and inappropriate development in the buffer zone known as the ‘Jewish Quarter’
  • Inappropriate use of public areas and street amenities
  • Lack of conservation of residential housing in the area inscribed as World Heritage
  • Effects arising from use of transportation infrastructure (increased traffic volume)
  • Management Plan Systems/Management Plan
  • Legal framework
  • Identity, social cohesion, changes in local population and community
  • Housing
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2023

Total amount provided: 800 million HUF (ca. 2.7 million EUR) EU support for the “Street of Culture” project 

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2023
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2023**

March 2005: World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Advisory mission; November 2007, February 2018: ICOMOS Advisory missions; February 2013, April 2019: joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2023

On 1 February 2022, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, the summary of which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/400/documents/. The report, together with an update received in March 2023, provide information on the measures implemented by the State Party in response to the decision adopted by the World Heritage Committee at its extended 44th session (Fuzhou/online, 2021), as follows:

  • Several modifications to legal instruments were introduced, including to the World Heritage Act, the Government Decree on World Heritage Sites Designation Procedure, Content Requirements and Drafting Procedures for World Heritage Management Plans, and the Pre-emptive Rights in the World Heritage Property (World Heritage Decree). At the end of 2021, new amendments were introduced, including to the World Heritage Design Guide, the Hungarian World Heritage Council, and the World Heritage Complex Impact Assessment. The World Heritage Design Guide for Budapest is in preparation;
  • A new regulation regarding the World Heritage Complex Impact Assessment was adopted that relates to heritage and visual impact assessments being requested prior to an intervention to assess potential impacts on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) during the permitting phase in cases where the impact on the OUV cannot be ascertained based on the available documentation. The Heritage Impact Assessments (HIA) will be prepared based on the ICOMOS Guidance on Heritage Impact Assessments for Cultural World Heritage Properties (2011) and the Visual Impact Assessments (VIA) need to be carried out using adequate tools, including geoinformation based programmes;
  • The preparation of the Management Plan has progressed. A chapter on the National Hauszmann Programme (NHP) will be included in the Management Plan. Public consultations are part of the preparation of the management plan;
  • The State Party stresses once again the ‘ideological basis’ of the NHP and recalls the research conducted by the VERITAS Historical Research Institute that the NHP reflects the ‘national identity’. It is stated that all relevant documents related to the NHP had already been provided, and that neither individual projects nor the NHP have negative impacts on the OUV, nor on the authenticity and integrity of the property;
  • Following the development of the online platform, ‘Budapest World Heritage Attribute System’, which aims to observe and analyse the OUV of the property, attribute-groups of the property have been identified and potential value-bearing buildings and urban structures have been listed on the system. The adaptation of the attribute-groups should offer a framework to discuss conservation issues. The assessment of the state of buildings and their photo documentation has commenced. A further survey is planned for 2022;
  • The State Party is planning to develop rules and procedures for the protection and management of the OUV and monitoring tools in line with Chapter II.F of the Operational Guidelines;
  • Two online meetings were held, on 28 January and 28 March 2022, in the framework of the ICOMOS advisory assistance on the Buda Castle Quarter, which the Committee requested the State Party to initiate as a matter of urgency. The State Party expresses its commitment to continue to benefit from this assistance and its intention to finalise the establishment of the corresponding contract with ICOMOS International;
  • In January 2022, the Hungarian World Heritage Council was established, a body which shall support the work of the Prime Minister’s Office. The council, composed of experts in the field of heritage protection, works to ensure that World Heritage properties in Hungary are given priority protection;
  • The building of the Hungarian Opera House underwent a full monumental reconstruction, completed in March 2022 and complemented by the collection of photogrammetric and laser scanning data. 2D and 3D spatial data was developed also for a number of other buildings within the property.

Since the extended 44th session of the World Heritage Committee, the World Heritage Centre has received information from third parties concerning the potential modification of the citadel within the boundaries of the property and planned developments that might negatively impact on the Budapest skyline. The information was transmitted to the State Party, in line with Paragraph 174 of the Operational Guidelines, on 1 March 2022 and 27 February 2023 respectively. At the time of writing this report, the State Party has not provided the World Heritage Centre with any clarification regarding the third-party information.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2023
45 COM 7B.56
Budapest, including the Banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter and Andrássy Avenue (Hungary) (C 400bis)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/23/45.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 44 COM 7B.49 adopted at its extended 44th session (Fuzhou/online, 2021),
  3. Welcomes the modifications and amendments concerning the World Heritage Design Guide, the Hungarian World Heritage Council and the World Heritage Complex Impact Assessment as well as plans to conduct Heritage Impact Assessments (HIA) supplemented by a Visual Impact Assessments and requests the State Party to conduct HIAs in accordance with the Guidance and Toolkit for Impact Assessments in a World Heritage Context as a pre-requisite for all development projects within and around the World Heritage property and submit them to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  4. Acknowledges the progress made regarding the development of the management plan and the development of the online platform ‘Budapest World Heritage Attributes System’ as an innovative tool to visualize attributes of the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) and welcomes public consultations organised by the State Party during the preparation of the management plan;
  5. Reiterates its request to the State Party to finalise the management plan as soon as possible, including details of the protective measures and regulatory regimes, and to submit the final draft of the plan to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies prior to its adoption;
  6. Also acknowledges the State Party’s efforts to document and monitor the current state of conservation of the property, including by using a geospatial database, and invites the State Party to provide further information to the World Heritage Centre on the ways in which the planned rules for the protection and management of the OUV will align with the Operational Guidelines;
  7. Regrets that all on-going and planned work on the National Hauszmann Programme (NHP) has not been halted as requested by the Committee, that no information has yet been provided that would allow a full understanding of the scope of the entire project or its full impact, and nor has a Conservation Plan been submitted;
  8. Considers that the continuation of the NHP works has thus been negatively impacting the state of conservation of the property, with potential cumulative negative impacts on its OUV, including its authenticity and integrity, as noted in the last Committee decision;
  9. Reiterates its request to the State Party to provide to the World Heritage Centre, as a matter of urgency, comprehensive information on the NHP to allow an understanding of the scope of the entire project;
  10. Reiterates its concern that the works in the context of the NHP are still ongoing, that the state of conservation of the property has been negatively impacted by planned reconstruction and its full potential impacts; reiterates its request to the State Party to consider halting all ongoing and planned works at the Buda Castle Quarter to allow dialogue on how the project might be modified;
  11. Urges the State Party to re-start the online ICOMOS advisory assistance for the Buda Castle Quarter, originally initiated in January 2022, to allow the State Party to benefit from this process over an extended period of time and to allow meaningful collaboration on the NHP between the State Party, the Advisory Bodies and the World Heritage Centre based on full documentation on the entire project;
  12. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 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 46th session, considering that the urgent conservation needs of this property require a broad mobilization to preserve its Outstanding Universal Value, including the possible inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Draft Decision: 45 COM 7B.56

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/23/45.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 44 COM 7B.49, adopted at its extended 44th session (Fuzhou/online, 2021),
  3. Welcomes the modifications and amendments concerning the World Heritage Design Guide, the Hungarian World Heritage Council and the World Heritage Complex Impact Assessment as well as plans to conduct Heritage Impact Assessments (HIA) supplemented by a Visual Impact Assessments and requests the State Party to conduct HIAs in accordance with the Guidance and Toolkit for Impact Assessments in a World Heritage Context as a pre-requisite for all development projects within and around the World Heritage property and submit them to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  4. Acknowledges the progress made regarding the development of the management plan and the development of the online platform ‘Budapest World Heritage Attributes System’ as an innovative tool to visualize attributes of the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) and welcomes public consultations organised by the State Party during the preparation of the management plan;
  5. Reiterates its request to the State Party to finalise the management plan as soon as possible, including details of the protective measures and regulatory regimes, and to submit the final draft of the plan to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies prior to its adoption;
  6. Also acknowledges the State Party’s efforts to document and monitor the current state of conservation of the property, including by using a geospatial database, and invites the State Party to provide further information to the World Heritage Centre on the ways in which the planned rules for the protection and management of the OUV will align with the Operational Guidelines;
  7. Regrets that all on-going and planned work on the National Hauszmann Programme (NHP) has not been halted as requested by the Committee, that no information has yet been provided that would allow a full understanding of the scope of the entire project or its full impact, and nor has a Conservation Plan been submitted;
  8. Considers that the continuation of the NHP works has thus been negatively impacting the state of conservation of the property, with potential cumulative negative impacts on its OUV, including its authenticity and integrity, as noted in the last Committee decision;
  9. Reiterates its request to the State Party to provide to the World Heritage Centre, as a matter of urgency, comprehensive information on the NHP to allow an understanding of the scope of the entire project;
  10. Reiterates its concern that the works in the context of the NHP are still ongoing, that the state of conservation of the property has been negatively impacted by planned reconstruction and its full potential impacts; reiterates its request to the State Party to consider halting all ongoing and planned works at the Buda Castle Quarter to allow dialogue on how the project might be modified;
  11. Urges the State Party to re-start the online ICOMOS advisory assistance for the Buda Castle Quarter, originally initiated in January 2022, to allow the State Party to benefit from this process over an extended period of time and to allow meaningful collaboration on the NHP between the State Party, the Advisory Bodies and the World Heritage Centre based on full documentation on the entire project;
  12. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 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 46th session, considering that the urgent conservation needs of this property require a broad mobilization to preserve its Outstanding Universal Value, including the possible inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger..
Report year: 2023
Hungary
Date of Inscription: 1987
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iv)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2022) .pdf
Initialy proposed for examination in 2022
arrow_circle_right 45COM (2023)
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.