Boston hackathon aims to improve city's permits process - Metro US

Boston hackathon aims to improve city’s permits process

computer keyboard The city’s hackathon will take place in August.
Credit: Metro File Photo

Boston’s online permitting process nets about 100,000 applications each year and the city is hoping the technology community can hack their way to a better system.

The city said on Monday that it is hosting a hackathon, which it called the first ever HubHacks Permitting Challenge. It will take place August 9 and 10 at District Hall in the Innovation District.

Mayor Marty Walsh is hoping to tap into the tech talent pool to reinvent the city’s online permitting experience.

“Boston is a unique city and we want a citizen-friendly portal that is designed with our specific city in mind. That is why we are hosting HubHacks – to find a collaborative solution to an issue with broad implications,”Walsh said in a statement.

Nearly 100,000 applications are filed annually for more than 40 different permits that the city issues through its citywide permitting software system.

During the hack event, the city will unveil a new application programming interface to allow hackers to create custom applications that feed into the city’s permitting system. The city wants tech experts to tackle certain issues like helping applicants figure out what permits are needed, finding an applicants address of record and a way for applicants to track their permits.

Registration for the event can be done online.

Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.

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