World Heritage City

In the latter half of 2013, the combined diligence of the Global Philadelphia Association and the City of Philadelphia paid off when Philadelphia was granted the status of an Observer Member of the Organization of World Heritage Cities (

Philadelphia was eligible for Observer Membership in the Organization of World Heritage Cities on the basis of lndependence Hall's status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In addition, Philadelphia is uniquely positioned to satisfy a number of UNESCO's World Heritage City criteria.

The goal of these efforts is to eventually obtain UNESCO designation of the City of Philadelphia as a "World Heritage City".


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The cities, each of whom the World Heritage Executive Committee has established connections are included are listed here.
September 21, 2015
The event was observed to day at Conversation Hall in City Hall by the members of the World Heritage Cities Steering Committee, a joint committee of the City of Philadelphia and the Global Philadelphia Association.
September 9, 2015

We will begin a series of bulletins to keep you advised regarding the progress of the World Heritage City Initiative.
Here's the first one! 



We would like to thank our funding members. Click here for more information.

Historically, Philadelphia was the home of the founding concepts of religious tolerance and liberty; groundbreaking developments in urban planning; the search for political freedom and the creation of a nation based on the principles of democracy and human rights; and contributions to medicine through three centuries - to name only a few criteria of world heritage that might be emphasized in a proposal for UNESCO World Heritage City designation.

These themes and others are embodied in an extraordinary inventory of historic structures that are already being preserved and are worthy of world-wide celebration.

Observer Membership with the Organization of World Heritage Cities based on the City's current credentials, and subsequently under the UNESCO standards, would have major benefits for Philadelphia's renown as an international city. 


World Heritage Brochure    


Read here the introduction about Philadelphia on the Organization of World Heritage Cities website. Text written by Dr D. Brownlee, Frances Shapiro-Weitzenhoffer Professor, Chair of the Graduate Group in the History of Art, UPenn.

For further information, please contact John F. Smith III at, (215) 241 - 7921, or Zabeth Teelucksingh at, (215) 851 - 8112.

Did you know? All the facts about Philadelphia as a World Heritage City candidate! Download our proposal

Click here to see the large format full-color map which features the World Heritage sites.
Click here for an interactive map.


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