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WHS boundaries

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Author david
#1 | Posted: 8 Nov 2009 18:13 
Solivagant's research about Mexico City's inscribed area reminded me that in past I have found and still I'm finding many maps with delimitations of the inscribed area of WHS on websites other than the official WHC website (where everybody can easily find them out), of which perhaps you are unaware. Surely the members of this forum are aware of many other maps, of which I'm not.
I think we should create a section on this website with the aim of collecting there the maps of the greatest possible number of WHS. It would be surely useful for planning our travels around the world!
I'll start myself:
- Porto
- Cordoba
- Naples
- Ferrara more detailed maps

Author Solivagant
#2 | Posted: 9 Nov 2009 02:28 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Yes, the "map" tab on the UNESCO web site is not a reliable source of detailed maps!
As from 1998 all (??) inscribed sites have their Nomination file accessible on their UNESCO web page and these usually (and, more recently, probably "always" as a requirement) include a map. However it can be a nuisance to have to download a 100mb PDF just to get a 1 page map!

The very early inscriptions have just the infamous 1 page evaluation and those in between up to 1998 see a growing size in that review such that, sometimes, a map is included there. However I have just checked Edinburgh. The ICOMOS evaluation extends to 3.92 mb and has some black and white photos of the city - but no map

I have found it in various sites in the past but it is included in this management plan for the city. Management Plans by the way are another interesting source of Information and I think most at least of the UK ones are Web accessible. Does anyone know if many other countries do the same? If so they constitute another possible set of documents whose "links" we could record. These and any maps would be better linked directly to the Site page rather than being "lost" somewhere in this Forum however?

Edinburgh WHS Boundary Map (app vi)

Author david
#3 | Posted: 9 Nov 2009 02:58 | Edited by: david 
Some maps are sometimes also hard to find on the WHC website. Just try (take it as a sort of game) to find a maps of Kotor or of Prague (here I noticed with great surprise, because this information cannot be found anywhere else, that it is inscribed as a multiple site formed by the historic centre and the Pruhonice park - I wonder what the hell does the park have to do with the centre!!!) without looking for them it in the pages directly dedicated to this sites... There is one for each one. I will post the links if you won't find it.
Some other maps:
Komi Forests
P.S. There are even not all maps from the 1998-2009 inscribed sites on the website (see Val di Noto and others).

Author Solivagant
#4 | Posted: 9 Nov 2009 03:24 | Edited by: Solivagant 
I see that, despite being inscribed as early as 1987, Bath has recently had its boundary map added to the the UNESCO site "map tab". It wasn't there a few months ago as I corresponded with the local council about their claim to be "the only city in the world apart from Venice which is fully inscribed as a WHS" (which we have discussed in an earlier forum )! Despite this long running claim, the boundaries were, for some time, a matter lacking clarity and were only "fully" resolved in 2005 as stated in the management plan here in the form of a recent additional paragraph! .pdf

Author Nem
#5 | Posted: 10 Nov 2009 09:36 
Re Bath - this might clarify (from a source in Bath, with thanks):

These quotes are from Bath's World Heritage Management Plan:

- There is an ambiguity in the nomination papers as to whether the proposed site was intended as the whole city, or the Conservation Area, which covers approximately two thirds of the city, though the inscription of the site as 'The City of Bath' is widely seen as an indication that it is the entire city that is inscribed.

- The former Bath City Council used the municipal city boundary (about 29km2) as the limit of the World Heritage Site and this has been the accepted de facto boundary ever since. The wider landscape setting of the World Heritage Site is not incorporated into this de facto boundary and there is no buffer zone.

- Whilst the present working boundary of the World Heritage Site follows the municipal boundary of Bath City as it was in 1987 (see Map 1), the geographical scope of the Management Plan is not defined simply by a line on a map. The main area covered by the Management Plan is the city of Bath and its landscape setting of the countryside surrounding the city which has a visual and contextual link to the city.

The "de facto" boundary was ratified by the World Heritage Committee hence the recent publication of the map. That UNESCO map is "Map 1" from the World Heritage Management Plan.

Author Solivagant
#6 | Posted: 10 Nov 2009 14:31 
How is this as the official definition of the boundaries of the "Ancient city of Damascus" (Inscribed 1979)! They would have done better using Lonely Planet!

Author Solivagant
#7 | Posted: 11 Nov 2009 06:03 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Hi David

Well the Kotor site map is here (in section 6.4)
I presume the Prague one is here in the equivalent document (though, for some reason, my computer isn't allowing me to open it after downloading it to find out - I will have to investigate what is wrong!! Later - I have just had the same problem on a computer in a library! Can anyone else open this download or suggest what the problem might be??)

The Reactive Monitoring Mission reports are indeed a VERY good source of information on sites, especially early ones as they "fill in" on the data which would have been present if UNESCO had had proper nomination and evaluation documents in those far off days!
Documents called "State of Conservation Reports" are another good source, especially for those early sites - but they don't all seem to be "filed" on their respective inscribed site pages. The other day I found a very interesting one on Mt Taishan which isn't on the UNESCO Web site there
It contains useful comments on Chinese intentions re extension of this site in both criteria and boundaries!

The Russian NHP fund site looks a useful one too - I wasn't aware of it but the sections on T List and "potential" sites contain information which I don't think is available elsewhere! Thanks

Author david
#8 | Posted: 11 Nov 2009 16:27 
Hi Solivagant, you have really an in depth knowledge of the WHC website! However not everyone has, so it is quite difficult for many people to find some maps (and they are really many): for those WHS for which they are available they should be published on the pages specifically dedicated to the WHS.
You can find sometimes such websites as the Russian one (and I have done this also in this case) just by writing on Google such random phrases as for example "cultural candidature world heritage 2012" or "new tentative list of ..." and an infinite variety of these.

Author Solivagant
#9 | Posted: 12 Nov 2009 04:26 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Yes David,
I too cannot grow to love the UNESCO site and don't actually know my way around its complexities and idiosyncrasies that well. The fact that they seem to keep moving things around doesn't help - I have only just discovered where they have recently "hidden" the minutes of old WHCs and it is a "route march" to get there!
But, more of a problem, is the so called "search facility" - such that I prefer to use Google to access UNESCO's own documents rather than their site!
As a game do a search on Google and then on UNESCO for "State of Conservation Report" AND "Taishan" and see which one gets you there!!!

Author meltwaterfalls
#10 | Posted: 12 Nov 2009 05:47 
The Prague link works fine for me, not sure what the problem may be for that one.
I'm trying to work out a way to display the map of the inscribed area.

To be honest it is as expected. The inscribed area is the six main districts of central Prague (Hradcany, Mala Strana, Josefov, Stare Mesto, Nove Mesto and Vysehrad) plus Pruhonice Park to the south of the centre.

I remember previously a discussion on whether the National Museum and Train Station were included in the inscribed area (but can't seem to find it). Looking at the map it seems that yes both are in the inscribed area, the boundary actually loops around the back of both to specifically include them.

Author Solivagant
#11 | Posted: 12 Nov 2009 10:48 | Edited by: Solivagant 
curiouser and curiouser regarding Průhonice Park and Prague's boundaries!

The Reactive Monitoring Review report indicates that a request was received in June 1992 to include this park as an addition to the Nomination file of Sep 1991. No specific mention of this was made in the record of the inscription at the Dec 92 WHC in Santa Fe and, as David has pointed out, the UNESCO Web site makes no mention of it being either an integral or separate part of the park.

A Google search on "Průhonice Park" retrieves loads of sites stating "Průhonice Castle and the adjacent beautiful park that is protected by UNESCO. ..." -obviously all sourcing their comments from the same place!

A couple state "under application to be a UNESCO protected area" and that it "is ranking high on the list of future UNESCO World Heritage Sites" - obviously "incorrectly" but perhaps indicating that, at some time it was going to be handled separately!!

But, perhaps most interesting, are those which indicate the "reason" for its inclusion - rather than the aforementioned "Castle" which might have seemed the most likely??
"Thanks to its many varieties of woody plants, this park is protected by Unesco. ..."!!!
Several mention that there is a botanical park and an English Garden but without giving them as the reason for inscription. But what has any of this got to do with the criteria under which Prague was inscribed??
It does appear that it is as a Botanical Garden that the park is particularly noted - Further searches identify that the "The Silva Tarouca Research Institute for Landscape and Ornamental Gardening" is situated there - but its Website makes no mention of its grounds being UNESCO inscribed.

So it looks like 2 more "Connections" for Prague, Els - Botanical and English Gardens? But no great clarity as to how/why the park got added late on to the Prague nomination

But further to this - if it seems strange that this site which seems to bear no relationship to the Old City of Prague should be have been added, have a look at the Czech Republic's T List for yet more possible "additions" to the Prague site - . A 1920's villa, an abbey and a hunting lodge are all under consideration!

Author david
#12 | Posted: 12 Nov 2009 16:16 
Re Meltwaterfalls
The National Museum and Main Station are included. I have been about 20 times in Prague and I have found there in many places beautiful "interactive maps" with the boundaries of the WHS (you can also have one similar on paper in the tourist offices).
Re Solivagant
The Průhonice Park is a real mistery and I couldn't really believe my eyes when I found out it is inscribed: I didn't even know that it exists since even not many Czech people are aware of its existence. I've never been there (even if I have visited all WHS and, apart from one all TL sites) and I'm planning a short one day trip to visit it when I'm on holiday in Brno. An interesting fact is that no Czech (my second mother language) website tells that it is a WHS. The park seems not to be outstanding and even not so special - just a park with trees and lakes - and it has no special links with Prague and obviously it is a totally other type of monument. Even the parks in Prague are totally different (have a look on the net to the Prague Baroque gardens - they are quite unknown but breathtaking).
Re the extensions to Prague WHS
Another mistery: according to the Czech news this TL site should have been substituted (I guess because the abbey and the hunting lodge, as I can witness, are nice but not outstanding) with another two TL sites (all the other new TL sites cited in these news lately appered as official TL sites), which are the Loos Villa, a masterpiece of modern architecture by the famous architect Adolphe Loos (really beautiful, I would recomend it to anyone) and the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, another exceptional modern monument by the Slovene architect Jože Plečnik. Later also some voices appeared about a possible future transnational serial candidature of the Plečnik's works with Slovenia and Czech Republic involved. Nothing appeared on the WHC website...

Author elsslots
#13 | Posted: 14 Nov 2009 15:27 
What about the boundaries of the Jerusalem WHS? I cannot find a map, and the AB evaluation merely suggests including monuments outside the main walls too (f.e. Mount of Olives)

Author Solivagant
#14 | Posted: 15 Nov 2009 04:26 | Edited by: Solivagant 
I found this site which consists of a statement dated 2005 in which the ( presumably Jordanian based) "Royal Committee for Jerusalem Affairs" complains about most/all of Israel's past actions and intentions for adding to its inscribed list - in particular the naming conventions it adopts. Section 15 relates to Jerusalem and indicates clearly that, as of that date (and I don't think anything is likely to have been changed by UNESCO since?) sites outside the Walls (and the Mount of Olives is specifically mentioned - any actions to inscribe it are clearly seen by the Committee as being outside the multi religious spirit within which the old city was inscribed as a "unique act") were NOT included. So the original (and possibly unwise, given the sensibilities involved!) "hint" made in the ICOMOS evaluation for such areas to be included was not taken up!!

I guess that the publication of ANY map of this area by UNESCO is just going to run into too many "political" problems so it is best to let sleeping dogs lie!

Author Solivagant
#15 | Posted: 26 Dec 2009 07:59 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Further to the subject of trying to establish the boundaries of WHS which lack a map within their inscription documentation, I have been trying to find a detailed desription of those for Havana. The ICOMOS review of 1982 refers to a map with coloured zones but does not provide it!! These zones were :- Red = Old Quarter, Yellow = "Contingent 19c zone", Grey = "Zone outside the old city but contingent on it and comprising the zone of fortifications" (including some "isolated" ones). It then describes another (unprovided) map in which ALL 3 of these zones are shown as Red "which corresponds to the inscription". So, clearly the inscribed area extends beyond the "old city" strictly defined.

I have also found this ICOMOS site describing a conference on the preservation of Cuban cities held in 2001
It contains the following paragraph (translated by Google from Spanish)
"The historic center, which occupies 214 hectares (241 blocks, 4 000 buildings and 900 high value), is characterized by its architectural heritage value, the coherence of its structure and environmental homogeneity. As attractive with the permanence of the original urban fabric, which was enclosed by walls from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century; the variety of styles and artistic movements of architecture from trades teacher who gave a spectacular architecture in churches, convents and homes; multi-functional characterization of its five seats, and the values monumental buildings as environment, the Capitol, societies Gallego Center and the Asturian Center, snuff mills, the Paseo del Prado, elegant theaters and houses of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
The fortifications placed at about 20 km. coastal and campaign, they have great value historic, architectural and regional levels"

In particular this clearly states that the Capitol Area is included and the reference to "isolated" fortifications corresponds with the comment in the ICOMOS evaluation. A slight complication is that the UNESCO Web site describes Old Havana as covering only 142ha rather than 214ha!! (could even be a transcription??).
Work in progress I think awaiting other sources/references!!

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