The City’s “Quick Response” to Providing Information

The Department of Buildings recently introduced a new “Quick Response” feature to the building permits displayed at all construction sites in the City.

Quick Response (QR) codes are barcodes that can be read by smartphones.  The City says that, when scanned, the QR codes will provide “details about the ongoing project – including the approved scope of work, identities of the property owner and job applicant, other approved projects associated with the permit, the complaints and violations related to the location”.  Users will also have the ability to click a link that will initiate a phone call to 311 to register a complaint.

Essentially, a person walking past a construction site will be able to get instant information about the project.  We here at ZONE commend the City’s effort to utilize technology as a means for greater transparency.

To that end, the City recently hired Rachel Sterne as its first Chief Digital Officer.  Rachel has gotten off to a fast start – she’s already using twitter and quora, among other sites, to engage the public on issues of City government and technology, including the new QR codes. Continue reading