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Better government through civic engagement

Research Shows How the 50 Largest Cities are Digitizing Land Management

Accela
Land management
Ask any contractor, and they’ll probably agree. The planning and permitting portion of a land management project has historically been a complex and time-consuming venture, riddled with inefficiency, manual processes and long waits for approval.For the average citizen (a.k.a. not an experienced contractor) trying to DIY a building project, it can be an even greater frustration. For the employees of city planning and other departments responsible for things like permitting, zoning and compliance, the sentiment is the same. Manual work, inefficient workflows and tedious processes keep governments from realizing cost efficiencies and best serving constituents.Fortunately, technology has helped eliminate inefficiency as cities adopt automated systems to streamline planning and development,… Continue reading

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Digital Transformation’s Impact on How We Govern the Future, Today

Heidi Lorenzen
Governing the Future
Over the last decade, emerging technologies have ushered in the need for governments to approach accelerated change and challenge in new ways. The impact of increased urbanization and shifting citizen expectations, combined with the ways technology is reshaping cities, is creating a call to governments and city leaders to evolve their role and shift their mindset around how to effectively govern into the future — not a simple task. The demands of the new mindset are twofold: a curiosity to identify the opportunities and challenges that a technology-enabled future holds, and a creative approach that seeks the right mix of tools and partnerships so governments are empowered with technology to meet new demands.Whether an elected official,… Continue reading

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Federal Hemp Legislation Sets Stage for Local Regulation

Jason Shueh

The legalization of hemp at the federal level will provide new opportunities for food products and medications but also brings new regulatory challenges

Just before the close of 2018 the cannabis industry locked in another major victory with the passage of the Farm Bill that will, among other policy measures, legalize hemp cultivation and compel state and local governments to regulate a market estimated to hit $20 billion by 2022. The implications of the bill for local governments are significant, as it brings opportunities for additional revenues via business licensing and sales tax revenues, but also the inherent technical and political challenges found in regulating a new market…. Continue reading

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Cloud, Apps and Investment Take Center Stage in GovTech 100

Accela
GovTech100 2019

Accela takes top honors for fourth year in a row as industry moves toward cloud solutions and off-the-shelf-apps

On Tuesday, Government Technology magazine (Govtech) recognized Accela for its contributions to cloud services and off-the-shelf apps in its annual Govtech 100 listing of innovative public sector IT companies. Accela is honored to be a part of the Govtech 100, that represents a compilation of 100 government IT companies that have driven modernization and service improvements for state and local governments. In an accompanying webcast that spotlighted the companies, industry trends and the factors driving the selection, Govtech subject matter experts credited Accela for its ongoing cloud and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) development as well as its effort to make enterprise solutions more accessible via simple,… Continue reading
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Accela CEO Gary Kovacs to Drive the Next Shift in Government Innovation

Jason Shueh

The former CEO of AVG and Mozilla takes the helm as Accela’s new CEO to pioneer innovative technologies and open the next stage of government innovation

Accela CEO Gary Kovacs (Flickr) Gary Kovacs is well versed in the dogmas of digital innovation. As the founder of the Zi Corporation, he led the company to develop some of the first patents for modern text messaging. As CEO at Mozilla, Kovacs launched FireFox OS, the free, open-source operating system for smartphones. And as CEO at AVG Technologies, Kovacs transformed the security company’s single consumer product into a diverse portfolio of enterprise cybersecurity services.Now Gary Kovacs has his sights set on government transformation as Accela’s new CEO. … Continue reading

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Accela Offers California Cities Aid with New Building Permit Extension

Jason Shueh
planning, building, construction
Starting Jan. 1 cities and counties will be extending the time developers have to comply with building permit regulations and Accela is ready to assist governments that may need help adjusting services. California Gov. Jerry Brown signed California Assembly Bill 2913 (AB 2913) on Sept. 21, easing some of the tight building permit compliance deadlines placed on developers. Prior to the law, developers who received a building permit for construction were expected to comply with all building codes currently in force, no matter when those codes were added. This meant builders that received a permit were still required to comply with a code even if it had been added or updated after construction plans were approved or construction was underway. Continue reading

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Accela Ireland Expansion Spurs Regional Smart City Growth, Taps Regional Talent

Dani Chehak
From left, IDA Head of Enterprise Technology Group Donal Travers, Ireland Minister for Business, Enterprise & Innovation Heather Humphries and Accela Chief Product Officer Troy Coggiola. By Dani Chehak, Accela Chief Human Resources OfficerLast week, we were proud to announce the opening of our Dublin, Ireland office and our plans to double our staff in the city. We had the opportunity to sit down with a technology journalist from the Irish Times before our announcement and shared the importance of the announcement with her. Accela is committed to making investments in areas that we believe can help us attract the best talent and accelerate smart government solutions worldwide.  … Continue reading

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Accela Customers Shine in the 2018 Digital Cities Survey Awards

Jason Shueh
(Shutterstock / hin255) The Center for Digital Government (CDG) has announced the winners of its 2018 Digital Cities Survey awards this month, and with that announcement, Accela would like to honor our many customers that were acknowledged in this prestigious innovation award. The annual survey recognizes the top cities that employ technology to solve pressing challenges in their communities and improve services for citizens.In a post by the CDG, the Center’s Executive director Teri Takai praised the winners and recognized cities for their innovative thinking and determination. “This year’s Digital Cities Survey winners are leading the nation when it comes to leveraging data to improve a wide range of city services and initiatives,” Takai said…. Continue reading

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Research Shows Governments Could be Missing Out on Millions in Short-term Rental Fees

Jason Shueh
Airbnb Headquarters, third floor (Airbnb) With the rise of companies like Airbnb, VRBO, HomeAway and others short-term rentals now have a pervasive influence in cities; yet while this emerging market continues to grow, data shows local governments could be missing out on millions in uncollected revenue if they are unprepared to regulate the industry.Since Airbnb was founded in 2008, the short-term rental company has given birth to a market that has grown at a near exponential rate. In the space of just 10 years Airbnb alone has increased its annual revenues to more than $2.6 billion with more than five million listings in 81,000-plus cities worldwide…. Continue reading

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What Really Makes Cities Smart: Understanding the Citizen Experience

Heidi Lorenzen
Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Heidi Lorenzen, vice president of marketing for Accela that was originally posted in CitiesSpeak, the official blog of the National League of Cities. Cities are laboratories for democracy where residents can directly access their local elected leaders to make their concerns known. While federal regulation and legislation moves at a seemingly glacial pace, cities have to act nimbly and continuously evolve to maintain a well-functioning community. Cities all across the country are navigating emerging regulatory challenges that include ride sharing registration in New York City to e-scooters in San Francisco, to cannabis regulation in towns coast to coast…. Continue reading

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