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July 09, 2015

Philadelphia could become country's first World Heritage City

Travel Tourism
Philadelphia skyline Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice


Philadelphia could become the first city in the United States to be named a World Heritage City, the Philadelphia Business Journal reports.

Currently, none of the about 270 cities on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's World Heritage Cities program are in the United States.

However, Philly could become the country's first to make the list with a vote at the XIII World Congress of the Organization of World Heritage Cities in Arequipa in Peru on Nov. 6.

Zabeth Teelucksingh, executive director of the Global Philadelphia Association, said the odds are in the city's favor. However, the nonprofit plans to continue to actively work on the region's international profile in order to increase travel and business in the city.

Active work includes the Philadelphia Orchestra visiting and meeting with representatives in six World Heritage cities this month, including Vienna, Austria, and Lyon, France. The University of Pennsylvania is also developing a World Heritage curriculum.

"It's a global thing; it's automatically international," she told the Philadelphia Business Journal. "It's like being part of a brand that's automatically global. The plan after the event is to have a communication strategy where the World Heritage designation doesn't just sit on a shelf, but becomes something that's realistically used by the city."

Independence Hall is already a World Heritage Site.