philadelphia region landscape from a distance.

About the Story

The Philadelphia Story emerged from the Philadelphia region's participation in The Brookings Institution's Global Cities Initiative, a project intended to help leaders in U.S. metropolitan areas reorient their economies toward greater engagement in global markets.  A critical step toward this goal is establishing a region's global identity and helping local civic leaders adopt it for their own efforts.  

Dragon light display in Franklin Square

What is Global Identity?

“Increased globalization and global engagement require that metro areas are clearer and more self-aware, about who they are and what they intend to be ... Global Identity is how a region embodies its accumulated traits on a global scale.”

--Marek Gootman, The Brookings Institution

Global Identity Is

More Than Marketing

It is a unified and coherent presence in the face of global competition, providing a sense of self and purpose.

Global Identity Is

For Both External and Internal Audiences

While intended for audiences outside of a metropolitan area, a global identity is also the glue that helps a region shape a narrative about itself and make decisions about priorities.

Global Identity Is

A Region's DNA

It is an identity that reflects a unique inherited collection of assets, history, traits, and culture that distinguish a metropolitan region internationally.

Global Identity Is


It raises a metropolitan region's profile—increasing awareness, recognition, and presence among the target audience in the marketplace.

Global Identity Is


It serves as an intentional and organized value proposition that differentiates a region in the market and drives demand through both facts and emotion.

Global Identity Is


It reflects how someone perceives a region, based on direct experience or indirect references and associations, which may or may not be an accurate reflection of performance.

Philadelphia is a "New World City"

Circular information graphic listing the big-seven global cities, established global cities, new world cities, and emerging  world cities.

"New World Cities" successfully compete on quality-of-life advantages, innovation, brand appeal, institutional strength, and effectively managing challenges. They continue to outperform "Established World Cities" on many core metrics, reinforcing the cycle of investor demand. Philadelphia joined the "New World Cities" category for the first time in 2019, called out specifically as an "innovator."