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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
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 component where s......
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Changing Civic Engagement for Good: Accela Construct App Challenge Winners

b2ap3_thumbnail_inspector-buddy-android-technologies-mark-headd.jpgFrom voting to volunteering, civic-minded citizens have been committed to improving our society since its inception. But far beyond joining town hall meetings and handing out flyers, emerging technology in the hands of brilliant developers provides us with new and exciting ways to bridge the gap between citizens, businesses and the government agencies that serve them. To help accelerate that innovation, Accela hosted its 2014 Construct App Challenge, which called on our best civic-minded developers to build apps that help create more informed and productive communities. Participants were able to submit in two categories, New Civic Apps and Existing Civic Apps, and the top three apps in each category received prizes totaling $25,000; grand prize winners will also receive mentorship and, sales support, and received a chance to participate in the keynote session at Accela Engage. This year’s winners are: New Civic App Category Grand Prize Winner: Inspector Buddy by Android T......
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Looking for the Next Great Civic Startup: The Accela Civic App Challenge

b2ap3_thumbnail_tim-oreilly-government-as-a-platform-for-greatness-video.pngAt Accela, we’re committed to finding ways to leverage the talents and ideas of civic entrepreneurs and open data hackers to benefit the governments we serve. We believe that fostering the creation of new civic startups has enormous potential to benefit public sector agencies, and we’re committed to finding ways to do this. That’s why we were thrilled several weeks ago to launch the Accela Civic App Challenge. The ProblemThe biggest challenge facing governments in adopting new civic technologies is the absence of an easy way to incorporate new solutions into their existing IT infrastructure. Creating a framework in which civic hackers and entrepreneurs can build smart new apps that can easily be adopted by governments has proved daunting and has caused some in the civic technology community to worry about the movement’s future viability. At Accela, we’re working to address this challenge through the Civic Platform and the Accela Construct API. The......
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