Philadelphia named First World Heritage City in the USA

Recognition for the birthplace of independence

Mayor Michael A. Nutter, Alan Greenberger, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Commerce Director, and the Global Philadelphia Association announced that the City of Philadelphia has become the first World Heritage City in the United States, formally receiving the designation this evening through a vote taken by the XIII World Congress of the Organization of World Heritage Cities in Arequipa, Peru. The designation comes as the result of a two-year campaign and is expected to enhance the City’s international stature and provide a new growth engine to drive tourism and commerce in the region.

Philadelphia’s strong case to become the first World Heritage City in the U.S. began with a revolutionary foundation – the fact that the City is the home of Independence Hall, where America’s Founding Fathers forged democratic ideals into the Declaration of Independence and changed the course of history to give birth to a nation in 1776. It is also where the United States Constitution was written and signed. Independence Hall became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979. In 2013, Philadelphia was approved as an Observer Member of the Organization of World Heritage Cities. Earlier this year, the World Heritage Philadelphia Executive Committee submitted an application to become a Full Member. Philadelphia, the fifth-largest U.S. city, joins 266 other World Heritage Cities in the Organization of World Heritage Cities.

As the birthplace of America, with its rich heritage of history, arts and culture and an ideal location on the Northeast coast of the United States, Philadelphia has so much to offer the world,” said Jack Ferguson, President and CEO of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau. “The World Heritage City designation is a great honor for our City. It further enhances the value of our global brand and will help to attract even more tourists and conventions to Philadelphia.”

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