Global Philadelphia Association Meets With Philadelphia City Council

As a champion in elevating Philadelphia’s global profile, Global Philadelphia Association (GPA) hosted a lunch for the Philadelphia City Council on January 23, 2020, to discuss ways to further promote the city’s world heritage.

With an event held in the Council Chambers, council members had the opportunity to learn more about GPA’s work over the past ten years while munching on snacks like World Heritage Seal branded sugar cookies.

Since its founding in 2010, GPA has designed and promoted a variety of projects that have expanded Philadelphia’s international footprint, working with its members and using everything from grassroots initiatives to global campaigns. Through this, GPA’s work has boosted Philadelphia’s international recognition and connectivity as well as bolstered Philadelphians’ sense of pride for their heritage and cultural consciousness. 

“Our status as a World Heritage City gives Philadelphia a valuable opportunity to celebrate not only our well-known role in our nation’s founding, but the vast and diverse heritage of our many historic neighborhoods and communities,” said Councilmember Maria Quiñones-Sánchez, who suggested the meeting. “GPA is helping us tell that story to the world, and by hosting this briefing I hope to encourage closer collaboration with Council, especially when it comes to expanding our focus beyond Center City.”

In particular, GPA’s presentation discussed the metrics and accomplishments of its community and education initiatives. For example, GPA shared how the Spread Our Seal campaign has partnered with 65 business and organizations to display Philadelphia’s World Heritage City seal in all ten council districts. In addition to this, GPA also spotlighted the success of its Emerging International Journalism Program and internship program by showcasing individual success stories. Other topics covered included GPA’s annual events, social media impact and preservation advocacy efforts (especially through projects like the National Historic Landmark Map). 

GPA also pointed to recent examples of how other World Heritage Cities have celebrated their value to humanity, and the ways that Philadelphia can synthesize and customize these models. For example, GPA highlighted ways that Philadelphia can incorporate aspects of San Antonio’s World Heritage City program to supplement the city’s private-public partnership model. 

The event concluded with a question and answer session in which the council members had an opportunity to voice their thoughts on the current work and future direction of Philadelphia’s world heritage efforts. Click here for more information about Philadelphia’s journey to become a World Heritage City and city of world heritages.


Article written by Amelia Winger on behalf of Global Philadelphia Association