Monday February 10, 2014
The city, in partnership with OpportunitySpace, has launched an online platform that publishes details about every government-owned parcel of land and building in the Louisville region.
“Making information easily accessible to our citizens is a top priority of this administration, through our Open Data efforts, and proactively listing real estate details is a part of that effort” Mayor Greg Fischer said. “We want entrepreneurs to work with government data, which will create development opportunities, and we know having this information centralized will help our departments’ efficiency as well.”
The database can be accessed at beta.opportunityspace.org. The comprehensive catalog brings together property data from various government agencies and centralizes it in a single, searchable website that is free and open to the public. One of its current uses is for the city’s “Lots of Possibilities” land use redevelopment competition for vacant properties, in which residents can submit ideas to repurpose a vacant lot in the city.
By compiling and sharing this data, OpportunitySpace and Louisville Metro aim to engage citizens and the private sector in community development. Small business owners looking to open new storefronts can find government property available for sale. Concerned citizens can reclaim underutilized lots for community gardens, bike lanes, or art installations. Real estate developers can identify parcels and neighborhoods that are prime candidates for investment.
The current version of the platform allows users to view and filter properties by a number of characteristics, including location, asset type, and usage.
In addition to the benefits of engaging the citizens and private sector interests in development, OpportunitySpace will track valuable analytics to provide a holistic view of the government’s real property utilization.
OpportunitySpace is a civic venture based out of the Harvard Innovation Lab in Cambridge, MA, and Louisville is the first city participating in their pilot program. “We are tremendously excited to have Louisville as a partner for the launch of our first local site,” said Alex Kapur, of OpportunitySpace. “Louisville Metro embraces transparency and recognizes the need to involve citizens, community groups, and the private sector in development.”
The company is providing design and technological support to the “Lots of Possibilities” competition, which runs until February 24. The winning entry will receive funding from the city to develop the idea. Full details about the competition can be found on the city’s VAPStat website: http://vapstat.louisvilleky.gov.