Philadelphia, September 8, 2015 – Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter declared Tuesday, September 8, 2015 as “Solidarity Day of the World Heritage Cities” in Philadelphia through a proclamation issued at a joint press conference with the Global Philadelphia Association.

The City of Philadelphia is the only city in the United States that is an observer member of the Organization of World Heritage Cities (OWHC). The Global Philadelphia Association and Mayor Nutter’s administration have been working collaboratively since 2012 on an initiative to make Philadelphia a full member of the Organization and thereby achieve status as the first World Heritage City in the U.S.

“As the proud home of Independence Hall – the birthplace of democracy and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979 – Philadelphia stands in solidarity today with all World Heritage Cities as our city aspires to become the first World Heritage City in the U.S.,” said Mayor Nutter.

A decision on Philadelphia’s proposal to become a full member is expected when the OWHC’s 13th World Congress convenes in the city of Arequipa, Peru November 3-6, 2015. A delegation of representatives from the City of Philadelphia and the Global Philadelphia Association will attend the Congress.
“Today’s proclamation is an affirmation of Mayor Nutter’s support of the mission of the Organization of World Heritage Cities and his belief that our great city, with its rich history and a heritage of diversity, has shared interests and common bonds with the international community,” said Alan Greenberger, the City’s Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Director of Commerce.

John F. Smith III, Chair of the Global Philadelphia Association’s Board of Directors, said, “We believe that designation as a World Heritage City would promote understanding of the region’s remarkable history – a history built on respect for many cultures, freedom, and democracy – and at the same time enhance Philadelphia’s global stature as a destination for international commerce, culture and tourism.”

Last September 8, the City of Philadelphia marked Solidarity Day of the World Heritage Cities by renaming Walnut Street between 5th and 6th streets “World Heritage Way,” in a ceremony at Independence Hall.
Driving home the World Heritage message, the Global Philadelphia Association will stage GlobalPhilly™ 2015, a 60-day exposition to showcase the city’s many international assets, starting Thursday, September 10. The expo will offer a lineup of 150 events and programs centered on international themes and issues. Member organizations will present events in eight categories: Advocacy, Arts, Commerce, Cuisine, Education, Heritage, Science & Technology and Sports. The opening ceremony for the Expo will be Thursday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the studios of WHYY, Independence Mall West, 150 N. 6th Street, in Philadelphia. To learn more about GlobalPhilly™ 2015 and the scheduled events, visit GlobalPhilly™ 2015 runs through mid-November.

About the Global Philadelphia Association
The Global Philadelphia Association (GPA) was founded in 2010 by leading international organizations in the Greater Philadelphia region. Its mission is to:
Assist – and encourage greater interaction among – the many organizations and people who are engaged in international activity within the Greater Philadelphia region;
Promote the development of an international consciousness within the region; and
Enhance the region’s global profile.
GPA is a nonprofit organization with more than 190 members, including businesses, organizations and internationally-minded individuals.


Photograph: Sylvie Gallier-Howard, Sapna Bhatt, Alan Greenberger, all of Commerce Dept City of Philadelphia, Zabeth Teelucksingh, John F. Smith III, Global Philadelphia Association, Fernando Trevino, MOIMA, City of Philadelphia.