Historic Quarter of the Seaport City of Valparaíso
Year of inscription on the World Heritage List : 2003
Property : 23,2 ha
Buffer zone: 45,5 ha
Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger : N/A
Previous Committee Decisions :
27 COM 8C.41; 34 COM 15.1
Total amount provided to the property: US$ 140,688, under the
Emergency Assistance category, for priority interventions on the
Matriz Church, the Guillermo Rivera Building, the Meyer Building
and the Building on Bustamante Street, between Marquez and
1. Analysis of documentation sent
a) Master Plan: Explanatory Document Valparaíso Port Authority (Valparaíso, Chile, March 2012)
The sent document summarises the master plan developed by the Valparaiso Port Authority. It mentions the
description of the area, the definition of the Valparaiso Port Authority, the summary description of the Master
Plan. This information is provided as background information for the analysis of the infrastructure works
foreseen. The contents are summarised next.
The Port, the Historic Site and Buffer Zone
The port premises lie outside the area marked as a Historic Site, and only the area known as the Pier (berths
6, 7 and 8 plus a part of the promenade) remain inside the Buffer Zone.
Valparaíso Port Authority (EPV)
Valparaíso Port Authority (EPV) is the legal entity responsible for maintaining the port premises. The
continuity of the maritime and urban vocation of the property is encouraged and set forth in the projection
and development of its infrastructure through a Master Plan. The management plan mentions several
projects under the title Port of Valparaiso projects in the short term.
The Master Plan
The Master Plan is a Territorial Planning Tool which defines the maritime and terrestrial areas committed to
the expert development of the port and its uses. It considers the need to expand port infrastructure in
consideration to the harmonious development of the different areas that might eventually be involved. It also
includes provisions for different works associated with the coastline around the city, combining the port
utilization with the public urban use. Regarding to the public urban use, the Puerto Baron Project is included
within the Master Plan. It should be highlighted that only the summary references are provided and not the
complete plan, so it is difficult to ascertain the pertinence of the proposals mentioned.
The information provided states that the implementation of the Logistical Support Extension Zone (ZEAL),
located 11 kms. from the port, has enabled the city of Valparaiso to decongest the main access street, so
that no trucks now cross the city because they enter along a new road that goes directly to the port. In
general terms, it can be considered that this solution can prevent heavy traffic from crossing the inscribed
property and its Buffer Zone.
b) Projects foreseen for the Port of Valparaiso in the short term submitted for review
The sent documentation includes 3 proposals for consideration. These are summarised next.
- Enlarging Terminal 1
From the documentation sent, it can be mentioned that apparently the proposal to enlarge Terminal 1 will be
located outside the inscribed World Heritage property and its buffer zone. In addition, it is stated that the
initiative does not affect the current operations of the Prat dock. The documentation justifies the project on
reasons of operational and competitive factors.
- Enlarging Terminal 2
The documentation sent states that this project will represent the second port infrastructure works to be
implemented in Valparaiso since 1930. It includes the development of docks, of the supporting esplanade
and will allow for two vessels, approximately 300 meters in length to be handled. The development of docks
is justified by the operation of ports and considering that there are no other projects currently planned for
other permanent construction works.
The Valparaiso Port Authority (EPV) considers that the project does not generate any visual impact on the
viewpoints located within the World Heritage property as all views over the coastline. However, no
comprehensive heritage impact assessments, including visual studies, have been provided. The document
does include three photomontages in the Explanatory Document to justify how no visual impact from the
World Heritage Site, and that the foreseen presence of big ships is part of the port dynamics, characteristic
View from the World Heritage Site: Gervasoni
View of the World Heritage Site: Yugoslav
View of the World Heritage Site: Atkinson
- Puerto Baron Project
The Puerto Baron Project foresees opening access from the urban area/city to the coastline which,
according to the project description, existed historically. The project will be located at the Baron area, outside
the boundaries of the inscribed property and its buffer zone, 2.5 km to the north-east. The proposed
development will cover a surface area of approximately 112,314 square meters. Approved uses will enable
the development of shops, services, convention centers, hotels, culture, entertainment and recreational
areas, among others. The development itself incorporates the historic Simón Bolívar Warehouse, which
becomes the structuring axis of the project.
The Valparaiso Port Authority considers that the initiative is feasible because the evolution of the port´s
business and cargo transfer operations need to be modernized.
c) Additional documents received:
1) Presentation of the Junta de Vecinos Nº 28 Cerro Concepción and Red Cabildo to the Municipal
Council of Valparaíso, informing that on August 26, 2011 the Mayor was requested to accept
submitting the preliminary draft of “Puerto Barón” to the technical opinion of UNESCO before starting
construction. The document presented considers that the Project may represent a threat to the
outstanding exceptional value of the property, and that it should not be approved while the city does
not have a cultural heritage directing plan. Concern is particularly stated in regard to the preservation
of the Simón Bolívar warehouses and the Prat Dock area which is formally integrated in the inscribed
World Heritage property.
2) The same concern was expressed to the Executive Secretary of National Monuments on August 30,
3) The Dean of Finis Terre School of Architecture also disagreed with the Puerto Barón Project.
4) The Mayor of Valparaíso expressed his opinion as opposing the construction of Puerto Barón
5) Finally, the Valparaíso Association of Architects stated that the project would affect negatively the
urban coastline and the urban-maritime relationships along the esplanade facing the typical area
“Historical site” inscribed in the site of World Heritage and the Commercial Mall in Barón to the
Historical Preservation Zone of El Almendral.
2. ICOMOS evaluation and recommendations
The State Party needs to clarify whether there is a Master Plan and a Conservation Plan for the
World Heritage property and its Buffer Zone, and if it is so, it should explain how it is linked to the
Master Plan developed by the EPV and with a broader Master Plan which includes Heritage Areas of
Valparaiso which are inscribed within the World Heritage property. The different planning tools, in
particular the complete Master Plan for the property needs to be submitted so that the proposals can
be evaluated within the framework of all development proposals foreseen for the property. In
particular, the Heritage Conservation Plan needs to be submitted so that the adequacy of the
proposals can be ascertained in relation to the conservation of the property.
The precise location of the proposals needs to be submitted so that potential impacts can be
evaluated in relation to the inscribed property, its buffer zone and its setting. Likewise, it would be
desirable to gather more information on the reasons of concern on the preservation of the Prat Dock
area, which is located within the Buffer Zone.
ICOMOS recommends that Heritage Impact assessments are carried out, in particular for the Puerto
Baron project. ICOMOS’s guidance for the development of these assessments could be used as a
reference to develop the assessments. These assessments should also include analysis of potential
impacts on the visual integrity of the property, the buffer zone and heritage. These studies need to
consider several view sheds, in particular those of areas that include attributes that convey the
Outstanding Universal Value of the property.
ICOMOS also considers that the Baron Port Project, which is being promoted by the Valparaiso Port
Authority, needs to be reconciled with the different opinions that were expressed in the additional
ICOMOS therefore recommends that a broad consultation is carried out between the Valparaiso Port
Authority, the national and municipal authorities, the professionals involved and the community of
Valparaiso, as well as other stakeholders who have expressed opinions on the project, so that areas
of concern can be identified and the potential avenues for intervention can be identified to move
forward. The agreed-upon course of action will need to first, and foremost, consider the
conservation of the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, in particular the attributes that
convey its significance, notwithstanding their location within the inscribed property, the buffer zone or
setting. The project proposals will need to include provisions to mitigate potential impacts, if any,
before, during and after construction. Additionally, they need to consider how changes in use will be
managed as these directly influence the property’s conservation and management.
At this point, the limited information provided makes it difficult to provide precise guidelines that
assist decision making in terms of design and the features of the proposal, in particular the
incorporation of the Simon Bolivar Warehouses. However, upon submission of the documentation
ICOMOS remains willing to assist the State Party in identifying the potential solutions upon
submission of additional technical details.
Paris, July 2012
World Heritage Site
Puerto Baron Project