On Top of the World

Article by Lauren Loudermilk (Fall 2017). Retrieved from Philadelphia Style Magazine.

Philadelphia celebrates its distinction as a World Heritage City with a 45-day fete dubbed GlobalPhilly 2017.

How will World Heritage status impact Philadelphia?

John F. Smith, III, GPA Board Chair: Philadelphia has been–and can once again become–our nation’s most truly global city. The Global Philadelphia Association and the World Heritage City Project joint-ventured with the City of Philadelphia to envision a newly resurgent city and region, one that takes this recognition as... a stimulus for new achievements in education, hospitality, international outreach, investment and the arts.

Moving forward, how will the title help to continue to raise Philly’s profile on the world stage?

JS: Philadelphia has not been content to see the WHC distinction merely as an honorific and to rest on its laurels. We are aggressively communicating our new status across the globe. Through the OWHC, we are developing new bilateral and regional relationships, and in late fall we will be leading a city delegation to the World Congress in Gyeongju, South Korea.

Zabeth Teelucksingh, Executive Director: [World Heritage Status] is automatically a draw for folks who are coming in from abroad or who are global themselves in the U.S. Th e value of this nomination to our region is very important and will have far-reaching consequences in terms of defining Philadelphia as a more global city.

What are some highlights for Globalphilly 2017?

ZT: Th is year is really exciting because Philadelphia is now a World Heritage City. We have a number  of events happening globally, in Málaga, Spain; Mexico City; and Morocco—all emanating from Philadelphia organizations. The World Heritage Celebration (Sept. 7, Crystal Tea Room, 100 E. Penn Square) is an annual event designed to showcase the work that we are doing in Philadelphia to celebrate our World Heritage status. The event is chaired by Governor Ed Rendell and Julie Coker Graham, and will feature Mayor Jim Kenney, U.S. Senator Bob Casey and the OWHC Deputy Secretary General Lee Minaidis, a former deputy mayor of the Greek island of Rhodes. In late 2015, the Organization of World Heritage Cities named Philadelphia the fi rst World Heritage City in the U.S. Philly nabbed the honor for its illustrious history and values, along with a little help from Independence Hall, a UNESCO-recognized World Heritage Site. Though not big in America yet, the honor means Philadelphia joins 270 international cities like Vienna and Berlin in preserving and cultivating important heritage.

Read the entire article here (p.64)

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