Civic Insight Helps Build a Better Palo Alto with Construction Tracking Tool for Residents

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Simple Online Tool Tracks Progress of Building Permits, Provides Alerts and Analysis

Today, the City of Palo Alto’s Development Services Department is pleased to announce the launch of Civic Insight, an interactive online tool for residents to track the progress of building permits through the approval process via timely email alerts and a user-friendly interface.

Anyone with internet access on desktop or mobile can visit to:
●    search for any property to view its building permit history in a clear, simple format;
●    create a “watchlist” to track the progress of multiple projects in one place;
●    receive timely email alerts at critical points in the building permit process;
●    and analyze development trends over time on a citywide level, using interactive maps and charts.

Civic Insight is the latest incarnation of the City’s ongoing efforts to increase efficiency and transparency around the building permit process. “Every day spent waiting for an update from our Department can amount to thousands of dollars lost for the applicant,” explained Development Services Director Peter Pirnejad. “With Civic Insight, we hope to increase responsiveness, and save our customers precious time - and money.”

“With Civic Insight, everyone benefits. Residents can keep up with what’s being built in their neighborhood, real estate professionals can stay on top of all of their projects with timely email updates, and the Development Service Department can measure their own responsiveness and make data-driven decisions to help streamline the approval process even further,” explained Alex Pandel, Co-founder of Civic Insight.

"We are excited to use Civic Insight in our work,” said Craig Stark AIA, Senior Project Architect at Fergus Garber Young Architects, based in Palo Alto. “The clarity and speed of the interface is a huge improvement from what we’re used to, and the email alerts mean savings for us and our clients."

As an official Accela developer partner, Civic Insight pulls data directly from the Development Center’s enterprise workflow system, Accela Automation, via Accela’s developer API. “Our customers benefit when developers can build solutions for them,” said Maury Blackman, Accela President and CEO. “At Accela, we believe that creating an open ecosystem for developers like Civic Insight to build on and deploy across results in innovation that empowers agencies and citizens alike.”

Watch a short video about Civic Insight’s impact in Palo Alto:


Media Contacts:

  •     City of Palo Alto: Peter Pirnejad, 650-329-2349
  •     Accela: Erica Harvill, 925-605-8178    
  •     Civic Insight: Alex Pandel, 646-824-7614

Civic Insight is a public-facing web application that connects directly to government data systems like Accela Automation and makes it easy for anyone to make sense of complicated processes that affect properties in their neighborhood, such as code enforcement and permit approval. Used to great success to support a variety of agency initiatives, from blight reduction to economic development, Civic Insight gets everyone on the same page, and helps residents & their local government collaborate more effectively in making data-driven decisions about the future of their neighborhoods.

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Erica Harvill
Accela, Inc.
+1 (925) 605-8178
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