SAN FRANCISCO – The San Francisco Planning Department was recognized for innovation in government today, as recipient of a ‘Bright Ideas in Government’ Award from the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard University. The university recognized the department’s new online tool, the Property Information Map, that lists information like zoning, permits, and property value, in an easy-to-use tool found on the homepage of the department’s site.
“On behalf of the team, we are certainly proud to be recognized for our efforts in demonstrating open government and improving access to important property information,” said John Rahaim, Director of Planning.
Officially launched in April 2011, the Property Information Map, found on http://propertymap.sfplanning.org
, provides the general public access to a wealth of property information simply by entering an address. The site currently averages 1,500 unique visitors a day.
This resource pulls current data from a dozen city departments, listing basic information about a property to recent permit activity. Information includes: parcel information, permit history, maps, zoning, height limitations, special uses, historic designation, architectural information, assessor’s tax records, land value, last sale prices, related Planning Commission documents, complaints, and appeals.
“Government innovation does not require endless resources and generous budgets,” said Stephen Goldsmith, director of the Innovations in Government Program at the Ash Center. “As exemplified by this year’s Bright Ideas, some of our country’s smartest innovations can in fact reduce government’s size while serving our citizens more efficiently and effectively.”
This is the third year of the Bright Ideas program, an initiative of the broader Innovations in American Government Awards program. Programs were evaluated and selected by a team of policy experts from academic and public sectors. SF Planning’s Property Information Map was recognized in the category for Real-Time Data and Transparency.
Program Desciptions: http://www.ash.harvard.edu/Home/News-Events/Press-Releases/Innovations/Harvard-Announces-111-Bright-Ideas-in-Government/2012-Bright-Ideas
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