Pittsburgh City Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak today introduced legislation to make a wealth of information more publicly accessible.
The comprehensive Open Data Ordinance would make information such as paving schedules, building permits and property maintenance citations available online without requiring citizens to invoke Pennsylvania's Right to Know Law.
Mayor Bill Peduto, who supported the legislation, joined Ms. Rudiak in announcing the legislation this morning at a press conference.
"We want to blow the doors of this building open to provide information," he said.
Ms. Rudiak said 19 other cities and counties have similar laws. A public-private initiative in Philadelphia resulted in the creation of OpenDataPhilly, an online catalog of municipal and commercial data.
Open data policies in other cities have inspired software developers to create apps that track public transit and snow removal, as well as illustrate crime patterns in neighborhoods, she said.
Laura Meixell was hired last week as the mayor's analytics and strategy manager and will be in charge of the project when it launches. Mr. Peduto said the initiative will cost about $100,000 in staff time, but that the city will reap cost-savings benefits by more closely studying departments' performance.
Ms. Rudiak said her bill is a work in progress and she'd like to hear from the public. The text of the bill is on the District 4 website, where the public is invited to comment.
Moriah Balingit: email@example.com or 412-263-2533. Twitter: @MoriahBee.
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