Preserving Philadelphia’s Past and Investing in its Future

Tuesday, April 3, 2018 - 3:30pm - 5:30pm
Loews Hotel 1200 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
United States

The Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA) will be hosting their Annual Meeting in Philadelphia this year and have designated the first day of the meeting, Tuesday, April 3, as “Philadelphia/Pennsylvania Day,” featuring a panel discussion on sustainable solutions for Philadelphia’s heritage landmarks. This panel is free and open to the public.

The panel is titled, “Preserving Philadelphia’s Past and Investing in its Future: Sustainable Solutions for America’s First World Heritage City,” and will be moderated by Steve Highsmith, formerly of PHL-17 and now Vice President, Institutional Advancement, at Cabrini University. Steve will be joined by Philadelphia-area heritage practitioners to discuss sustainable approaches to issues of heritage preservation, tourism, education, management, and promotion.

With the impeding withdrawal of the United States from UNESCO, the role of cities in preserving and promoting local heritage is more important than ever and essential to long-term sustainability.

In 2015, Philadelphia became the first “World Heritage City” in the United States. The achievement of this designation led to the creation of the World Heritage City Project, which was established to seize the opportunities that this new status affords the citizens of Philadelphia. The mission of the WHC Project is to (1) preserve and celebrate Philadelphia’s historical and cultural assets; (2) educate global kids with roots; (3) build World Heritage City awareness and ownership; and (4) extend Philadelphia’s global reach.

The panel will consist of:

  • Melissa Stevens, Ph.D. is a cultural anthropologist with international experience in heritage tourism development. She is currently the World Heritage Coordinator for Global Philadelphia Association and oversees the World Heritage Education Program.
  • Doris Fanelli, Chief of the Division of Cultural Resources Management branch of the Independence National Historical Park. 
  • David Hollenbergserves as University Architect at the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to this position, he worked as Associate Regional Director for the National Park Service, supervising staff in the Architectural Preservation, Development, Engineering, and Facility Management divisions.
  • Kiki Bolender, AIA LEED AP, Principal of Bolender Architects. Bolender is heavily involved in the Healthy Rowhouse Project, which is dedicated to improving substandard conditions and health in rowhouses occupied by low- and moderate-income Philadelphians.
  • Patrick Grossi, Director of Advocacy at the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia. He also leads the Preservation Alliance’s Neighborhood Preservation Workshops, a cultural heritage project supported by the Samuel S. Fels Fund.

SfAA’s Annual Meeting brings anthropologists, archeologists, and other applied social scientists together with Philadelphia residents. Additional events scheduled during SfAA’s “Philadelphia Day” include film screenings, discussions, and roundtables. More information can be found at

Event Type: 
History and Preservation
World Heritage