To respond effectively to the World Heritage Convention (1972), in 2002 the World Heritage Centre established that the inscription of new sites in the List must be conditional on the drafting of Management Plans. In 2004 it recommended the Management Plan also for the sites already inscribed in the List, thus providing the Local Authorities with a valid tool for making the Heritage known and for defending and monitoring it.
This statement was reinforced at national level through Law 77 of 20 February 2006 “Special measures for the protection and the fruition of Italian cultural, landscape and natural sites, inscribed on the ‘World Heritage List’, under the protection of UNESCO”. Through this law the Italian legal system establishes the obligatory drafting and adoption of the Management Plan by all the sites inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List and establishes special measures for their conservation and valorisation.
The Management Plan is:
a flexible instrument designed to ensure and conserve the most important quality of a UNESCO site, its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV);
a document which, through the involvement of various subjects and stakeholders, can analyse the forces of change that may emerge, not only at cultural level but also in the socio-economic context;
a means of ensuring the effective protection of the nominated property so as to guarantee its transmission to future generations;
an instrument that can foster projects for protection and development that are agreed and coordinated by the various subjects and entities operating within the territory, which contribute to safeguarding the site and favouring the optimisation of the resources and the rationalisation of the economic investments.
The Management Plan represents a useful tool not only for conservation and protection, but also for the enhancement of the entire cultural heritage as a whole. It ought, therefore, to be a dynamic, wide-range networking tool, encompassing within a holistic approacha variety of different issues, such as the management of the territory and tourism, the organisation of transport and commerce, and any other aspect of the cultural and social life of the city.
The first Management Plan 2006-2008
Due to the obligatory drafting and adoption of the Management Plan by all the sites inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List and establishes special measures for their conservation and valorisation, the UNESCO Office of the Municipality of Florence drafte the first Management Plan of the 2006:
the ultimate aim of maintaining the Outstanding Universal Value of the Historic Centre of Florence, World Heritage site;
following the guidelines provided by the Advisory Committee for the Management Plans of the UNESCO sites;
validity 2006-2008, with a view to consolidating the biennial monitoring activity and bringing into effect a new Management Plan with a longer validity timeframe;
followed by the 2007 and 2008 monitoring activities;
integrated approach and sharing of the Plan with the main stakeholders;
charcterized by the document “Actions for the City” (Azioni per la Città), which identifies the main coordinates of the new plan related to the protection, conservation and enhancement of the site while raising awareness of its incorporation in the World Heritage Site list among the citizens and visitors.
Following the newsletter of the Secretary General of the Ministry of Heritage and Culture (Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali) of May 30, 2007, the Memorandum of Understanding of 2005 the Steering Committee of the Historic Centre of Florence was established, members of which are currently the Tuscan Regional Authority, the Tuscan Regional Secretariat of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism (Ministero dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali e del Turismo), the Management of the Tuscan Polo Museale, the Fine Arts and Landscape Superintendency (Soprintendenza Belle Arti e Paesaggio) and the Department of Sport and Tourism of the Municipality of Florence, of which the UNESCO Office is part. The duty of the Steering Committee, which acknowledges the Municipality of Florence as the subject responsible for the site, is to monitor the updating and implementation of the Management Plan.