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2015: The Year in Building Permits

2015: The Year in Building Permits
2015 was a big year for building permits. This year, Accela led a coalition of civic technology companies and other stakeholders in the development of the first ever shared data specification for building permit data . This new standard is being implemented in cities across the country and will provide new and powerful insights into the operation of cities and the changing character of communities. To demonstrate the power of this new standard, we’re updating our year-end building permit review web app from last year to showcase four jurisdictions that are now publishing data in the new Building and Land Development Specification (BLDS) format. You can view our updated building permit review application here . This is a remarkably simple application – built with open source components and hosted on GitHub . But it provides some useful insights into the permitting activities of these four jurisdictions. For example, while permit...
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The Mobile Citizen: Accela, the Construct API and...Lasagna? (Part 3 of 4)

The Mobile Citizen: Accela, the Construct API and...Lasagna? (Part 3 of 4)
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This is the third post in a series on "The Mobile Citizen," a look at how the Civic Platform is helping agencies of all sizes engage their mobile citizens and stay ahead of the "mobile mind shift." ------ Wednesdays in the New York City office means a rotating assortment of cuisines for team lunch (follow @dshaeffbk for the occasional #foodtweet). Typically we gather to talk about work, upcoming weekend plans, sports, movies, anything really. Every now and then new faces will spice things up. Earlier this month, Mark Headd and Seth Axthelm from our technical evangelist team were visiting. They work to enable, support, educate and innovate with Accela partners and customers to expand the Civic Platform. The lunch gave Mark and Amir Reavis-Bey, a co-founder of Civic Insight, the chance to catch up between bites of lasagna. As I eavesdropped on their conversation I realized that Mark and Amir's...
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Keeping Track of What Is Happening in My Community with Civic Insight: Creating an Amazon.com experience for government…and much more

Keeping Track of What Is Happening in My Community with Civic Insight: Creating an Amazon.com experience for government…and much more
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Today, I am proud to announce that Accela has entered into a strategic partnership with Civic Insight. In this blog post, I will discuss three tangible benefits Accela customers and citizens will gain from bringing the Civic Insight team into Accela. 1. Understanding what is going on in my neighborhood At Accela, we take a lot of inspiration from our neighbors in the Bay Area that are disrupting the way we do things. As such, we have also closely followed the success of nextdoor.com, which makes it easy for citizens to be up to date on what’s going on in their communities. We believe Civic Insight, which gives residents a new level of transparency – from what type of commercial property is being developed four blocks over, to keeping track of home improvement projects their neighbors are working on – is the logical extension of the idea of localization and...
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10 Years Later: Helping New Orleans Get Back on Its Feet after Hurricane Katrina

10 Years Later: Helping New Orleans Get Back on Its Feet after Hurricane Katrina
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It’s hard to believe it’s been just over 10 years since Hurricane Katrina hit, displacing more than a million people throughout the Gulf Coast region. Roughly 80 percent of the City of New Orleans was flooded, with 70 percent of all occupied housing units damaged during the hurricane and flooding that followed. Parts of the City remained underwater for eight days until repairs to the levee system made it possible for water to start being pumped out. I was living in Atlanta at the time and heard about the unprecedented devastation on the news. Little did I know that years later I would move across the country and join a company that was instrumental in the City of New Orleans’ efforts to get back on its feet and rebuild. Coincidentally, about a year before Hurricane Katrina, the City’s Department of Safety and Permits implemented Accela Land Management to automate its...
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Guest Blog from Buildingeye | How Palo Alto Makes It Easier for Staff and Citizens to View Planning Applications

Guest Blog from Buildingeye | How Palo Alto Makes It Easier for Staff and Citizens to View Planning Applications
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Earlier this month, buildingeye joined with the City of Palo Alto and Accela on a webinar to share how we worked together to bring life to Palo Alto city’s planning data in just a matter of weeks. After a brief introduction by Ken Sawtelle, Director of Accela’s Center of Excellence team, I introduced Roland Rivera, a Land Use Analyst in the City of Palo Alto, who demonstrated and explained how he uses the buildingeye application to enhance his daily work with better outcomes and efficiencies. Dealing with over 400 planning applications per year, from variances to individual and architectural reviews including amendments and zone changes, the City needed an easier way to share data. The City of Palo Alto was already using Accela Land Management on the Civic Platform, so all of its planning data was held electronically since July 2011. Roland and his team decided they “…needed a spatial...
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New Request For Proposals Wizard: Simplifying Your RFP Process

New Request For Proposals Wizard: Simplifying Your RFP Process

Selecting the right software that works for your agency is a daunting task. Request for Proposal (RFP) documents can be complicated and it’s easy to overlook a specification or goal in the process. Small to medium-sized agencies, especially with constrained budgets, often leverage RFPs created by other agencies in order to create their own. It’s common to copy RFP documents of much larger agencies that have intensive, tailored solution requirements that may not match the smaller agency’s true goals. This often results in vendors struggling to respond and quote excessive functionality that the smaller agencies do not need.

This is where the Request For Proposals Wizard comes in – giving you the freedom to create a custom RFP specific to your agency’s needs.

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