9. Factors with negative impact on the property; problematic situation

The coinciding facts from the internal and external monitoring on the property point the role of the following factors with negative effect on it:

  • Anthropogenic factors: imperfect legislative protection; insufficiently effective activities on the conservation of the property; consequences of the process of urbanisation – construction and tourism expansion, over-concentration of functions and people flow; unsustainable development of tourism; inconsistent spatial planning activity and policy; lack of full cadastre readiness; imperfect management system;

  • Natural factors – characteristics of the atmospheric air (humidity, content of salts, wind abrasion) that damage structures and elements; geological characteristics of the ground, subject to influence of natural erosion and sea abrasion; climatic changes; possible natural disasters, etc.

As a result, the following problematic situation of the property and its territorial context is outlined:

On one hand, there are no irreversible damages discovered in the property that could compromise and question its outstanding universal value. The grounds for inscription of the property in 1983 continue to be valid to the basic year 2011. This was proved by the assessments of the 35th session of the World Heritage Committee and of the Mission of UNESCO/ICOMOS, as well as by the held monitoring within the frames of the work on the MP (2010-2011).

On the other hand, there are factors and infringements that endanger the outstanding universal value. If they are not surmounted or stopped they could endanger it – prognosis confirmed also by the World Heritage Committee. Within the frames of the MP infringements of such character were established in leading individual heritage sites (archaeological sites, medieval churches and examples of vernacular architecture), in the historic urban landscape and in the intangible heritage. The MP sets the task to identify these infringements with best possible preciseness and objectivity in order to set adequate measures for overcoming the set problems.

In order to clearly identify the problematic situation it is presented graphically in SCHEME № 9 Problems within the World Heritage Site and its buffer zone. There the results of the evaluation of the state of the property are juxtaposed to the parameters of its outstanding universal value. The juxtaposition shows the lack of dramatic alterations or severe conflicts with the outstanding universal value of the property. Along are identified definite problematic sites and territories:

Scheme 9: Problems within the World Heritage Site and its buffer zone

  • In the property and its protection zone exist new, built after 1983, buildings that are evaluated as inharmonious and get in definite contradiction with the pointed characteristics of the historic urban landscape. These sites are clearly identified in the MP.

  • Buildings exist that by 1983 were listed as heritage sites, but today they have lost their value – due to that fact their statute at present could be assessed as inadequate.

  • Areas are outlined with damaged coherence of the urban fabric – most often in territories with secondary contribution and rarely in territories with leading contribution for the outstanding universal value.

  • Areas with damaged silhouette are differentiated (along the northern and southern coasts) with unclear stratification (the Border Police zone) or with damaged integrity (the archaeological zone to the east of the Gate).

  • Obvious are the damages due to the new building-up of part of the protection/buffer zone of the mainland (the peripheral areas to the east of Zornitsa Street) – inevitable result of the lack of protection prescriptions in that area.

  • The damaged coastal areas are outlined, that need harmonisation especially regarding the coast protection equipments.

  • The traditional areas are marked, damaged by movable trade sites and light immovable structures.

That way, for the first time in the MP are clearly identified and located the problems that damage the outstanding universal value of the property.

In conclusion, the problematic situation affects also the three main axes of the policy concerning the property: conservation, sustainable use and management. The notion created is that in the last decades the Ancient City of Nessebar was rather more considered as local tourist attraction the responsibility for which was taken mostly by the local authorities and the population. The conservation of the property was not sufficiently a state priority and a national cause. The enormous image and economic benefits that could be derived by an adequate policy have been underestimated.

If this approach to the property is not surmounted, the casus “Ancient City of Nessebar” will become insoluble. What could be expected is that if the above negative processes continue in the future, the outstanding universal value of the property will be irreversibly damaged with all the unavoidable consequences.

That is why the MP proposes a gradual, step-by-step change of the policy for conservation, use and management of the property aiming at preserving its outstanding universal value but not at the expense of the well-being of the local residents. The Plan treats the property as a world and a national treasure that MUST be preserved in order to become a resource for sustainable development and quality of life. The MP formulates clear and specific objectives as basis for a long-term and consecutive strategy for conservation, sustainable use and management of the property. Along, the Plan determines and programmes the necessary urgent and short-term activities.