Philadelphia made world history and joined the ranks of 266 other cities around the world as America’s first World Heritage City following a vote at the XIII World Congress of the Organization of World Heritage Cities in Arequipa, Peru.
Beginning with an initiative led by Mayor Nutter and the City in 2013, Philadelphia was the first city in America to be an approved observer member of the Organization of World Heritage Cities. Earlier this year, the executive committee of World Heritage Philadelphia submitted an application for full time membership.
World Heritage Cities must have World Heritage Sites to qualify.
Independence Hall has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1979, due to its historical significance of hosting the creation and signing of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
Along with being the birthplace of the United States, Philadelphia boasts many recent large accomplishments including Pope Francis’ visit with the World Meeting of Families in September and the selection of Philadelphia to host the Democratic National Convention next July.
Philadelphia joins the ranks of Jerusalem, Paris, Cairo, Rome, St. Petersburg and many more cities that have helped to shape human events throughout history. The full list of World Heritage Cities can be found here.
Mayor Michael Nutter believes this honor will “attract more people to visit, invest, work, study and live in Philadelphia.”
“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.”