Scan And Tell: NYC Building Permits Get QR Codes

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The city is hoping to make it easier for New Yorkers to check up on construction projects by becoming the first major city in the nation to use QR codes on building permits.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, during an announcement Tuesday, demonstrated how anyone with a smart phone can could the small matrix barcode to be linked to the Buildings Department website and pull up detailed information on specific job sites — such as complaints, violations and the contact name and phone number of the construction company.

Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri said this new initiative is aimed at the high-tech and need-to-know New Yorkers.

"What we're doing is we’re putting it in the palm of their hand as they walk down the street," said LiMandri of the information that’s already publicly available online. "They walk by a construction site, they want to know what's going on. They don't want to go back to their office or their home and figure it out. They want to know now."

The city is already using QR codes on sanitation trucks, which link users to a public service announcement video on recycling. The mayor's office said it expects all permits to have QR codes by 2013.