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 Arts, 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
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
The System can be also accessed thought the Department of Arts,
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.