Philadelphia launches tool to support permit process for residential, commercial projects

© Shutterstock

Philadelphia’s Smart City PHL team at the Office of Innovation of Technology recently launched the Permit Navigator pilot project.

The project’s goal is to understand if the Permit Navigator tool is helpful to residents navigating the permit process. As part of the project, staff will conduct public engagement feedback sessions with businesses, business associations, community-based organizations, property owners, and stakeholders. Those groups can also send feedback directly to the team. The city will improve or revamp the Permit Navigator based on feedback.

The digital tool improves access to information about permits, approvals, and requirements for certain residential and commercial projects. Users are asked a series of questions that brings them to a summary page containing the approximate costs and links to additional information. It is for informational purposes only.

Residential uses include permits for renovations to existing family homes, while business uses are primarily commercial storefronts.

The city created the tool after receiving requests for assistance from business owners and homeowners regarding which permits are needed for projects. If residents like the tool and find it valuable, the city may include additional features.

The team worked with the Department of Commerce, the Department of Licenses and Inspections, and the Department of Planning and Development to launch the project.