The Management Plans of the Historic Centre of Florence
What is a Management Plan?
In order to respond effectively to the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, in 2002 the World Heritage Centre established that the inclusion of new sites in the World Heritage List must necessarily be subject to the preparation of Management Plans, documents in which the lines of action for the management of the World Heritage Site are identified. The requirement was then formalised through par. 108 of the Operational Guidelines, which guides the implementation of the Convention.
In 2004 this requirement was also established for sites already included in the List; this statement was reinforced at a national level in Italy through Law 77 of 20 February 2006 ” Special measures for the protection and use of Italian sites and elements of cultural, landscape and environmental interest, inscribed on the ‘World Heritage List’, placed under the protection of UNESCO”. Through this Law, the Italian legal system establishes the compulsory drafting and adoption of the Management Plan (MP) by all sites included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The Management Plan is:
- a flexible tool, able to ensure and preserve the most important feature of a UNESCO site, its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV);
- a document capable of analysing the changes that occur not only at the cultural level, but also in the socio-economic context through the involvement of different stakeholders and citizens;
- a means to ensure effective protection and preservation of the property, in order to guarantee its transmission to future generations;
- a tool capable of promoting the protection and enhancement of projects coordinated and shared by various subjects and entities operating in the territory, which contribute to the safeguarding of the site and to the optimisation of resources and the rationalisation of economic investments.
The Management Plans are updated cyclically in order to reflect the changes occurring within the World Heritage Sites. In the case of the Historic Centre of Florence, the third update of the Management Plan was released in 2022, following the 2016 update and the first Management Plan of 2006.
The Third Management Plan (2022)
The third update of the MP is characterised by some new elements compared to its previous versions:
- A 5-year validity;
- Inclusion of a section on the site’s governance system and greater involvement of the Steering Committee in the Plan;
- Periodic meetings and annual contact with the managers and proponents of the projects included in the Action Plan for a constant update of the project’s progress.
- Participation of citizens and stakeholders from public and private bodies;
- Inclusion of the extension of the boundaries of the Core Zone (minor boundary modification);
- Inclusion of attributes and physical elements supporting the OUV of the site;
- Identification of a set of indicators, organised for each Macro Area, linked to the Monitoring of the State of Conservation of the site;
- An Action Plan characterised by strategic projects and actions and elaborated considering different programmatic instruments at international and local level;
- Increased attention to the issue of Risk Management;
- Basis for the future compilation of the Third Cycle of the Periodic Reporting (2022-2023).
The Second Management Plan (2016)
The 2016 Management Plan was approved by the Municipal Council on 19 January 2016, by Resolution No. 8, and was positively evaluated during the UNESCO/ICOMOS Advisory Mission (2017).
- Inclusion of the Buffer Zone, approved in July 2015;
- Greater importance given to intangible heritage, linked to local craftsmanship;
- Draf of the Vision and Mission;
- Identification of concrete actions to address the critical issues identified in the Second Cycle of the Periodic Reporting (2014);
- Integrated approach through Technical Tables/Focus Groups;
- Local community participation process (“The Table of Ideas” and “The Listening Marathon”);
- More dynamic tools, involving both public and private actors;
- An Action Plan based on measurable actions/projects, through indicators and the 5Cs;
- Constitution of the foundations for a Monitoring of the Management Plan, which was elaborated and approved by the Municipal Council in 2018.
The first Management Plan (2006)
With the compulsory drafting and adoption of the Management Plan for all sites inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List and the application of special measures for their conservation and enhancement, the UNESCO Office of the Municipality of Florence drafted the first Management Plan:
- Goal: Maintain the Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage Site;
- Based on the guidelines of the Advisory Commission for Management Plans for UNESCO sites;
- Completing its cycle in 2008, with the intention of consolidating a monitoring activity regularly carried out during the two-year period and with the idea of launching a new MP with a longer time frame;
- followed by 2007 and 2008 monitoring;
- Integrated approach and sharing of the Plan with the main stakeholders;
- Characterized by the “Actions for the City” where the main coordinates of the new plan are identified related to the protection, conservation and enhancement of the site and to raising awareness among citizens and visitors of the World Heritage List.