The current requirements for construction and business permits in Guadalajara are long, complicated, and involve a lot of paperwork. The complexity and lack of transparency allows for corruption and favoritism to influence decisions, leading to disorganized and haphazard growth in the city.
The city developed Visor Urbano, an online platform for construction project and business permits that publicly maps business names, plans, licenses, and payments. Along with increasing transparency and speeding processing times, Visor Urbano serves as a backup mechanism to audit and guarantee the city’s development in line with current metropolitan plans. The platform is open to the public, allowing them to weigh in on development plans and land-use decisions.
By increasing transparency, Guadalajara is tackling corruption and favoritism in a measurable way. Over 8,000 land use permits and licenses have been issued online to date, promoting a more open and streamlined licensing process. Visor Urbano is enabling better resource allocation and a more orderly city, attractive to investors and more sustainable and equitable for its residents. In 2018, Visor Urbano won Mexico’s National Prize for Innovation in Transparency. Its success has attracted interest from several cities to replicate Visor Urbano in Mexico and throughout the region.
“This platform will help identify and substantiate actions to respond to the real needs of the city by applying quality standards, better practices, and law enforcement in urban development.”