Philadelphia named first World Heritage City in U.S.
On Friday, Nov. 6 Philadelphia made history. World history.
It become the first World Heritage City in the United States, formally receiving the designation through a vote taken by the XIII World Congress of the Organization of World Heritage Cities in Arequipa, Peru.
“As a World Heritage City, Philadelphia is being officially recognized on the global stage for its wealth of contributions to the world as the epicenter of American democracy and for its enduring commitment to preserving the unique historical and cultural assets in our diverse community. As we celebrate this milestone, the next step is to focus on the future and how we can optimize this World Heritage City recognition to attract more people to visit, invest, work, study and live in Philadelphia,” said Mayor Michael Nutter.
Independence Hall became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979. Now, with its designation as a World Heritage City, Philadelphia becomes the first U.S. city to join 266 other World Heritage Cities in the Organization of World Heritage Cities (including Paris, Rome, Istambul and Budapest; and in the Americas: Cuzco, Peru; Havana, Cuba; Cartagena, Colombia; Antigua Guatemala and Guanajuato, Mexico. See full list here). John F. Smith III, chair of the Global Philadelphia Association, which has worked with the Nutter administration on the joint initiative since 2013, said, “This opens new doors of opportunity for Philadelphia while raising awareness of the city’s importance in today’s highly competitive global arena.”
A celebration of the historic designation will take place at the Independence Visitors Center on Wednesday, Nov. 11 at 4 p.m.