The Urban Tech Hub @ GCT and the NYC Economic Development Corporation (EDC) hosted an agency briefing with the Department of Buildings (DOB) as part of a series to encourage regulatory agencies to engage with the urban tech entrepreneur community. DOB plays a critical role in the continued development of the city through its oversight of over one million buildings and construction sites across the five boroughs. It also enforces the City’s Construction Codes, Zoning Resolution, and the New York State Multiple Dwelling Law.
In what seems a long overdue move, DOB Deputy Commissioner Archana Jayaram outlined how the DOB is transitioning from paper to digital, which will result in a far more user-friendly and accessible experience for tenants and building owners. The agency presented their latest initiative to streamline the permitting process, DOB NOW, an interactive, web-based portal that will enable building owners, design professionals, filing representatives, and licensees to do all of their business online. In addressing the tech community, Deputy Commissioner Jayaram added “We share a common interest in making construction and living in the city safer and ensure our residents are informed about what is happening in the buildings they work, play and live in.”
Companies participating in the Urban Tech Initiative at the HUB offer innovative and promising solutions to various challenges that regulatory government agencies face in their jurisdictional oversight. Robinson Hernandez, Executive Director of the Hub (and former alumni of DOB), noted, “Agency briefings facilitate ongoing discussion between the urban tech community and the City to help entrepreneurs focus their efforts on agency priorities to streamline their processes, adopt technology and offer greater transparency.”
Moving forward, the Hub and EDC will host additional agency briefings with the Departments of Environmental Protection and Transportation.