Tina Trenkner is the Deputy Editor for GOVERNING.com. She edits the Technology and Health newsletters.E-mail: email@example.com
Construction in any given neighborhood can cause mixed emotions in current and potential residents: Are new businesses and more available housing worth short-term annoyances like noise and traffic? New York City officials want its residents to know who's building what: They (including Better, Faster, Cheaper contributor Stephen Goldsmith) announced that the city will start putting square-shaped quick response (QR) codes on building permits. These codes will provide anyone with a smartphone and a QR code reader (easily downloadable from an online app store) with information about construction projects. By simply scanning the QR code, a user can find information that identifies the property owner, what work was approved, related construction projects and if any complaints or violations have been filed on the city's mobile Buildings Information System site. In addition, the city offers users a link to its 311 system to report complaints if needed. QR codes are being added to nearly a million building and construction permits, and the city aims to put these codes on all permits by 2013.