In part, due to the insurgence of incubator programs and research efforts of CMU and Pitt, Pittsburgh is drawing startups and entrepreneurs from all over the world and along with them: new ideas. It's clear that Pittsburgh's recent tech boom is making an indelible change in the City's character, and now it's helping to streamline governmental departments. Say goodbye to long lines and tricky downtown parking to visit the Department of Permits, Licenses & Inspections or the Department of City Planning. Just this past week a Pittsburgh City Council committee voted unanimously to fund a new tool that will provide a map-based visualization of permits, licenses and inspections in the city.
The concept was given the green light after issuing a request for proposals several months ago when Pittsburgh city officials decided to work with San Francisco-based Buildingeye to construct the platform. The civic app developer has worked with a number of other localities on similar projects, including San Francisco; Palo Alto, Calif.; and Adams County, Colo.
Buildingeye, Inc., puts information on building permits, planning applications, code enforcement actions, business licenses and coming events and developments on a public website. Already in use in several Western U.S. cities, Buildingeye allows residents to search for such activity using detailed maps. Residents can also sign up for alerts that notify them of permits, licenses or violations in their block, neighborhood or council district. Right now, Pittsburgh residents must visit the Department of Permits, Licenses & Inspections or the Department of City Planning, Downtown, or call a council member, for such information.
In the near future, when the platform becomes available, residents can easily access this information to answer the easier questions and concerns they have when planning to build or move, which in turn will allow Department employees better assist those residents in more complex matters. With that being said, certain zoning, building inspections, and permitting issues will still require more in depth analysis that is best handled by an attorney.