Online portal offers streamlined service for permits and applications sought by event organizers in the capital city
July 9, 2018
PROVIDENCE, RI – Mayor Jorge O. Elorza today announced the launch of the City of Providence’s digital Special Permit System, which offers streamlined service to easily access necessary permits and applications for those seeking to organize special events in the capital city. The Mayor’s Office worked with the Department of Art, Culture + Tourism and the Department of Innovation to allow interested parties to apply online, submit materials and payments and receive communications and approvals ahead of City Service meetings. The Special Permit System can be accessed on the Viewpoint platform available through the City’s main website where users can select the ‘I Want To’ feature and click the ‘Apply For’ option or directly at https://providenceri.viewpointcloud.com.
“As part of our continuing efforts to make Providence City Hall a national leader in innovation, we are leveraging technology to make it as simple as possible for event planners to get the permits they need,” said Mayor Jorge O. Elorza. “With this new tool, we are continuing to make Providence a ‘city that works.’ ”
The City of Providence holds a wide array of special events throughout the year, including PVDFest, which attracted over 100,000 attendees last year and numerous art, culture, food, music and neighborhood celebrations. The events and public entertainment support the vibrancy of Providence’s neighborhoods and encourage locals and visitors to explore the city as well as support businesses and the local economy.
Previously, event organizers had to reach out to several City departments individually to get a series of approvals. Utilizing the same permitting platform the City uses for online business licenses and building permits, that has been received positively by business owners and residents; the Special Permit System provides similar ease of use. It removes duplicative steps and forms thereby saving event planners a significant amount of time. It also allows for online payments using a credit card or an electronic funds transfer (EFT).
The Department of Innovation, which spearheaded the effort, worked with several City departments, including Providence Parks, Police, Fire, Arts, Culture + Tourism, Board of Licenses, Public Works and external agencies like the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) to improve the coordination of approvals.
This led to the merger of eight different forms, totaling over 40 pages, into one streamlined online application. Predictability has also been enhanced in the process of applying for a special events permit. With the online system, customers are able to see what approvals are pending. There is also increased transparency around requirements as users will be asked to only answer questions relevant to their type of event. Most importantly, the portal that is accessible online 24/7, improves responsiveness and allows applicants to avoid visiting and waiting in line to submit an application or make a payment.
The System can be also accessed thought the Department of Art, Culture + Tourism’s webpage, http://www.providenceri.gov/art-culture-tourism/. Users can select the ‘Forms, Permits + Applications’ link and then the ‘More Information On Having a Special Event in Providence’ option.