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Thread: Online planning applications- suggestions please

  1. #1

    Online planning applications- suggestions please

    I am currently preparing a series of articles for my website on the implementation of an online planning system for the NSW planning system in Australia. Currently the government is looking into introducing a system called 'E-Planning', but I would like to expand on this topic.

    Therefore I am looking for people to please provide examples of successful online planning systems. Your comments would be greatly appreciated!

    Below are some questions to consider...

    Are there systems which work and that don't?
    What are the main issues arising from implementing such systems?
    How are new technologies utilised to benefit the planning system?



    Look out for these upcoming articles at The Planning Boardroom

  2. #2
    Member
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    check out the government of ontario's newly launched e-portal for planning resources at http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/Page7153.aspx

  3. #3
    Cyburbian UrbaneSprawler's avatar
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    I'm wondering what is being defined as an "online planning system"? To me online planning could mean any of the following (or combinations thereof):

    - A website to look up codes, permits, fee schedule for developers, contractors, public.
    - GIS info for the general public to check on items such as zoning, floodplain, etc.
    - Online status check for permits, case review, amendments & variances, etc.
    - Electronic submittals done online by developers to the municipality, with or without electronic payment.

    I haven't seen an online system that combines all 4 of these into one "portal" (other than the website of the municipality being the starting point).

    Are there systems which work and don't? Sure, for the needs for one municipality often won't fit another, but vendors like Accela will attempt to customize to meet individual needs.

    What are the main issues arising from implementing? In my view getting the hardware on the municipality-side to handle the capabilities. Electronic submittals for staff to review is cumbersome if they are using inferior equipment over traditional paper-based submittals.

    New technologies benefit planning in so many ways. Nothing like being able to pull up google street view for the public, or for staff.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    Many of these programs have to be individually tailored for the municipality, and cost $100,000's, because they are often incorporated with the assessor's office which usually holds the property tax cards and if both systems can't talk to each other it is a waste to have an electronic planning application portal, IMO.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    In my area, the Town of Cary just did a big online planning system. Check it out.

    Link
    "Never invest in any idea you can't illustrate with a crayon." ~Peter Lynch

  6. #6

    Training

    Thanks to everyone for your very helpful comments.

    Another quick question that I just thought of;
    What training programs were implemented in the delivery of these systems? Eg were there government-run training sessions or were they run privately?

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by theplanningboardroom View post
    Thanks to everyone for your very helpful comments.

    Another quick question that I just thought of;
    What training programs were implemented in the delivery of these systems? Eg were there government-run training sessions or were they run privately?
    Usually part of the private party contract, the company that creates, tailors, and installs the software provides training to the municipal employees who in turn can train the public and other incoming employees.

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