The Building & Land Development Specification (BLDS) is a standard for sharing open data on building and construction permits issued by municipal governments.
The BLDS (pronounced "Builds") data standard is a collaborative effort by civic technology companies, governments and other interested parties to create a shared data specification for building and construction permit data. This is part of a much broader effort to create shared standards for the open data being released by state, county and municipal governments across the country.
Creating shared data standards across governments is a critical milestone that must be realized to advance the open data movement to fully realize all of the potential benefits of openly publishing government data.
The effort to create a BLDS data standard underscores the importance of government data on building permits and highlights the possible insights that can be gained from making it easier to use. Building permits are often viewed as “municipal exhaust” – less immediate and visceral than other kinds of open data like crime data and restaurant health scores. But building permit data can provide huge insights to those working to understand and improve communities.
Permits data can be used as a proxy for economic activity and allow for insights into how an upswing (or downturn) in the economy plays out at the community level. It might show the changing character of neighborhoods, and how gentrification is playing out in cities. Additionally, it might help governments foster empathy with those they serve, by giving insights into the operations of government.
City of Seattle
City of Fort Worth
City of Boston
If you are interested in using BLDS data, you can download and access sample data that is being published by different municipal governments.
If you work for a company that is interested in using or promoting BLDS data, you can add your name to the list of partners & contributors below by opening an issue on this GitHub repo. To add sample data sets to the list above, you can open an issue or send a pull request.
Others interested in helping out can review the initial version of the specification here, and join the discussion forum to add thoughts and feedback.
If you work for a government that is interested in publishing data in the BLDS format, you can get in touch here.
Contributors listed below provided input into the initial draft of the BLDS standard. Partners listed below have expressed an interest in contributing to the continued development of the standard.
Governments that have formally expressed their interest in the BLDS standard and that are watching its devleopment for possible future implementation.