5. Sustainable development of the urban functional systems

The proposed guidelines in this field consider the recommendations of the 34th and 35th sessions of the World Heritage Committee for “preparation, adoption and implementation of… guidelines for the use of historic buildings and monuments”. They apply the accepted in the MP Recommendation of UNESCO for integrated approach to the historic urban landscape. The cultural heritage of “The Ancient City of Nessebar” is viewed in its broader urban context, which also includes the development of the urban functional systems. This is an application of the method of integrated conservation and a possibility to include the urban heritage development strategy in the broader aims for overall sustainable development.

The proposed guidelines aim at providing the vitality, quality of living and all-year activity of the property as living historic town and world destination for cultural tourism. The priorities and objectives of the MP are determined in absolute co-ordination between the parameters and the legal protection of the property, its functional and planning development and the requirements of modern cultural tourism.

The guidelines are based on the following strategy for sustainable development of urban functional systems:


The MP accepts the statement of the ICOMOS Charter for Conservation of Historic Towns and Urban Areas that ‘the improvement of housing should be one of the basic objectives of conservation.’ That is why the Plan proposes to be developed a Programme for improvement of housing in the property aiming at achieving an optimal balance between the modern housing conditions, on one hand, and the requirements for the conservation of the property on the other. The instrument for that will be the Prescriptions for conservation as proposed in pilot product № 1. They should create conditions for achieving modern living standard through the introductions of new infrastructure networks and appliances as well as through relief for their realisation with a certain public support (see VI, it.9). The owners will be encouraged to take care of the conservation of the unique and authentic residential environment, as well as undertake initiatives for modernising its technical infrastructure in the frames of the respective regime. Such behaviour will have a positive effect also on the development of all-year cultural tourism.


The MP plans to stimulate the modern development and interpretation of the specific local traditions and handicrafts, supporting the public-private partnership, directed to unique local production – part of the intangible heritage in the property. On this basis is proposed to create conditions for competitive high-quality production (with registered trade mark “Produced in Nessebar”) and to provide alternative means of living of the local population, during the winter season as well. The guidelines consider also stimulating of employment of the population related to cultural tourism, in the spirit of the pointed modern tendencies in this field.

Trade and public service

Trade and service of visitors are traditional activities for Nessebar, but the above-mentioned chaotic and inharmonious development during the last few decades seriously threatens the outstanding universal value of the property. To a great extent this is due to the lack of “regulations” for the “movable facilities and components of urban infrastructure, advertising activity and open-air commercial activity”, pointed by the World Heritage Committee. The MP considers the elaboration of such rules within a coordinated programme for sustainable development of trade and services in the Ancient City in the following directions:

  • Constant removal of the movable street trade and the dining establishments from the public areas of the property and their transferring to the indicated spaces in the harbour areas of the buffer zone or outside it;

  • Use of the yards and the ground floors for service activities in accordance with the respective prescriptions;

  • Flexible execution of service activities in local market places with changeable location or cyclic organisation (weekly, monthly, annually);

  • Differentiation of specialised zones for development of specific service activities, thematically related to the inherited values, traditions, unique local production, etc.

Along, the MP provides guidelines for development of social infrastructure in the field of culture – with key role of the museum network, as well as development of the green system, sport and recreation in the authentic landscape characteristics of the property.

On the Public Discussion of the MP the Municipality of Nessebar supported that strategy and took the decision to remove municipal street trade as early as the summer of 2013. Also, in accordance with the proposal of the Plan and with the recommendation of the World Heritage Committee, the Municipality prepared schemes for street trade and advertisement, which are to be implemented after 2013.

Communication, transport and technical infrastructures

The MP proposes a strategy to overcome the indicated negative consequences from over-concentration of communication and transport functions in the property that endangers its outstanding universal value. The strategy complies with the decisions of World Heritage Committee as well as with the ICOMOS Valletta Principles that traffic should be ‘drastically limited’, ‘parking facilities reduced’, and ‘preferably … located outside protected zones and, if possible, outside buffer zones’. For that aim are planned:

  • Preservation of the structure of the traditional street and alley network and the characteristics of the pavements in the property and the buffer zone;

  • Harmonising of the reception area in front of the Gate by the main approach to the property through re-organisation of the service of the mass public and taxi transport and introduction of alternative forms of public transport (marine, cycle, with “panoramic” trains, shuttles to the New Town, etc.);

  • Enhancement of the regimes and organisation of the traffic and car access within the boundaries of the property;

  • By-stage reduction of the areas used for car park on the peninsula and development of network of buffer public parking spaces located on suitable places in the New Town;

  • Rehabilitation and integrated construction further of the networks and facilities of the technical infrastructure;

  • Expertises and current observation on the coastal equipments for geo-protection; activities for their harmonisation with the landscape.

This urban strategy was commented and complemented on the Public Discussion of the MP. In the Plan are included the useful remarks and recommendations for: change of the working schedule of different means of transport in order to ‘comfort the situation in the reception area’; restriction regime regarding the access and stay of motor vehicles within the property; defining a part of the northern car park as a ‘zone for seasonal stage-by-stage car parking in green environment’ (statement of the Municipality of Nessebar), etc. Some of these recommendations could be directed to operational documents for spatial planning or for urban management.

Programme activities

The MP offers the following programme activities in this field:

  • Within the frames of Programme 2012 for urgent activities is planned priority adoption and application of rules for design and location in the property of movable trade sites and advertisement elements. This task will be substantially facilitate by the commissioned by the Municipality of Nessebar (regarding the MP) and already developed schemes-concepts for such sites.

  • In the working Programme 2013 with work-schedule is provided the development of a series of interrelated programmes concerning: the economic support and stimulation of housing in the property; support to the business directed to local traditional production; preservation, development and maintenance of public areas; stimulation of the sustainable development of trade and services; development of museum infrastructure; development of public transport and service infrastructure; re-organisation of the car access, traffic and car parking on the peninsula;

  • Within the long-term Programme 2012-2032 will be executed activities from the programmes integrated in the municipal development plans.