In late May 2012 the Philadelphia Inquirer published a story about the launch of the Philadelpia Redevelopment Authority’s new Citizen Access Portal. The Citizen Portal is the latest product from the Davenport Group. The website is designed to integrate with the company’s land management software (LAMA), giving the public access to the program from anywhere. It even works great on smart phones. The new product is the first of its kind.
Philadelphia had been looking for a solution to its growing number of vacant properties and blight for years. The problem is all too familiar around cities in America today. “The city’s vacant-properties tally is now 40,000. The city owns about a quarter of those. Some are owned by the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, some by the Public Property department and some by Philadelphia Housing Development Corp. Those multiple jurisdictions have been a big problem, since anyone interested in buying city property has had to navigate through a maddening bureaucratic maze to even find out which agency has oversight, and then to figure out the different rules that govern acquiring the properties. In a city where many things don’t work, the city-owned vacant-land system was an epic fail,” according to the Inquirer.
Enter LAMA’s new CRM product. By combining its GIS based program with the latest web technologies, LAMA is able to integrate property management systems and at the same time provide a flexible, easy to use interface for the public.
The article goes on to state, “(LAMA) has consolidated and mapped the city-owned properties that are available, so now those interested in acquiring a property for anything from a sideyard to a large development can see immediately what property is available, which agency has jurisdiction, and then file an expression of interest in the property, which gets directed to the right agency.”
Philadelphia officials are estatic about their latest investment in technology, because they know that in LAMA they are getting the most flexible, cutting-edge, and cost effective product available. Many more municipalities are sure to follow suit.