New York to integrate QR codes with construction permits

As part of an ongoing effort to make city data more open and accessible, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced yesterday that Quick Response Codes, also known as QR codes, would be used on construction permits throughout the city. Mr. Bloomberg hopes that city residents will use the QR codes, in part, to help keep city construction projects more accountable by tying the codes to NYC’s 311 system.

Alongside Deputy Mayor for Operations Stephen Goldsmith and Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri, Mr. Bloomberg said this was another example of how the latest technology is being implemented to keep the public informed on what’s going on in their neighborhoods.

According to the mayor, New Yorkers will be able to use their smart phones to scan the QR code of any construction permit and instantly learn details about the ongoing project, such as the approved scope of work, identities of the property owner and job applicant, other approved projects associated with the permit, as well as any complaints and violations related to the location. Users will then have the ability to click a link that will initiate a phone call to 311 to make a complaint.

“New Yorkers expect to be able to gather information instantly, and the use of QR codes will allow them to get all information about construction work while standing on the sidewalk,” Mayor Bloomberg said in a statement.

“The QR codes will provide more efficient access to government data, help the public know what’s being built in their neighborhoods, and it will allow people to make more informed decisions about things from renting an apartment to making a complaint.”

The City currently uses QR codes on Department of Sanitation vehicles and on the Staten Island Ferry, which takes users videos on recycling and attractions in New York City, respectively.

Construction permits will have QR codes added to them as they are replaced at the 975,000 building and construction sites in New York City and all permits are expected to have QR codes by roughly 2013.