City of Nanaimo wins innovation award

NANAIMO – The city has won an innovation award for a new development search tool.

Nanaimo has captured its third innovation award for online technology.

The City of Nanaimo announced this week that it won the 2013 Tempest Customer Innovation Award for its online search tool, ‘What’s Building in my Neighbourhood?”

The site was launched by city staff members Jessica Maple and Sheila Herrera in 2012 as a spot for residents to access proposed development plans, building permit applications and rezoning information.

The technology award follows on the heels of two innovation wins for the city’s e-Town Hall meeting and recognizes the municipality for going beyond the norm to deliver customer service through Tempest software systems.

“We provide the usual notification of development applications, including signs [and] mailed notices … but we felt we could use technology to improve service and transparency,” said Andrew Tucker, the city’s director of planning. “I believe that ‘What’s Building’ allows citizens to drill down to exactly the information they are interested in, display it on a map, and sign up for e-mail notifications in a way that is unprecedented in Canada.”

The award is given out annually to a client of Tempest Development Group, a software supplier to municipalities in Western Canada.

The ‘What’s Building?’ tool can be accessed through www.nanaimo.ca.