buildingeye map

It will soon be a whole lot easier to keep an eye on what is going on in your neighborhood. New software being purchased by the City through the software company “buildingeye” will bring zoning and building permit data online so residents can track planning, permits, licenses and violations. You can even set up an alert to be notified when permits, licenses or violations occur in your neighborhood, City Council district, or block and report alleged violations via 311 through the portal.

“This software will be transformative to the experience the public will have in following what is happening in their communities,” says City Councilman Dan Gilman. “Whether it is to see a building permit on the house next door and who to contact about the permit or when a building inspector has last visited, this information will now be a click away.”

This joint effort between the Department of Permits, Licenses & Inspections and the Department of City Planning was spearheaded by Councilman Gilman after he saw a presentation on the software by buildingeye at the National League of Cities conference in Nashville last year and was “blown away.” Councilman Gilman shared the technology with Maura Kennedy, director of Permits, Licensing & Inspections.

From there, working with the Department of City Planning, a request for proposals was released to see what other technology was available. Buildingeye, a Silicon Valley-based software company, was competitively selected to bring the technology online in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh City Council recently approved the $154,000 contract with buildingeye and the program is expected to launch this fall. The software is currently in use in California, Colorado and Oregon.

“It will add a lot more transparency to operations,” says Timothy McNulty, communications manager for the City of Pittsburgh. “We do expect it will add efficiency for businesses as well as residents. Tracking where projects are will mean people are not required to travel downtown to check on permits and it has been successful in that way in other cities.”

Maya Haptas has an M.A. in Historic Preservation Planning from Cornell University and is a freelance writer covering various topics from architecture and urban design to wellness and skateboarding. She is currently the assistant editor of Bigfoot Skateboarding Magazine.