Published May 20, 2015
Two teams of urban planning students were among nine finalists in a national student competition to develop Citizen Planning Apps. The American Planning Association, which sponsored the competition, announced the finalists last month at the APA national conference in Seattle, where the School of Architecture and Planning students also had the opportunity to formally present their ideas.
Matthew Austin (MUP '15) and Tanveer Singh Dhillon (MUP '15) proposed an app that would allow users to initiate projects that align with and advance already-established plans. Similarly, Richard Rogers, a student in the MUP/JD dual-degree program, and a team of students from a range of disciplines, has developed a tool to link planners, real estate developers and other consultants with government requests-for-proposals (RFPs), situating them to develop more effectively.
Austin's and Dhillon's proposed Citizen Planning App demonstrated its potential as planning implementation tool as a pilot for One Region Forward, a regional sustainable development planning initiative for Western New York. With the effort's planning process complete, the app will allow stakeholders, local governments, organizations and citizens to communicate and collaborate on projects and action steps that advance the plan. Following a widely inclusive planning process that engaged over 5,000 citizens, the app will maintain robust public participation and action toward the tenets of sustainable development.
Rogers' proposal for the Cartefi app and website seeks to bring efficiency and transparency to the government RFP process. By linking planners, developers and public administrators, the app extends the reach and exposure of the RFP process and supports a more efficient proposal monitoring and tracking process.
According to Rogers, Cartefi is on track to be launched this summer, with market studies and investor meetings complete and an LLC filing for New York in progress. Users can even demo the app at http://www.cartefi.com with the username “APAdemo” and the password “letmein”.