RightToGo Open Data Planning App Launch
Developed by Fountainhead Group, RightToGo is a new app that uses Open Data to allow easy access to Brisbane City Council planning regulations for a particular property, and then connects users with design-led businesses to help them complete their renovation or new build project to the highest level of quality.
Imagine a real estate agent is showing a prospective buyer around a residential property in Brisbane. The buyer asks if it would be possible to add an extension to the home and a swimming pool in the backyard. The agent opens RightToGo on a tablet or iPad, types in the address and has instant access to Open Data from Brisbane City Council and Queensland Government to answer the buyer’s question.
In turn, the buyer can then use RightToGo to access the best local design-led businesses which could help with planned projects for the property – from architects and interior designers, engineers to builders, pool builders and landscape designers.
Architect Peter Kable, of Fountainhead Group, conceived the idea for RightToGo when Brisbane City Council released its City Plan 2014. “As an architect who was often asked to advise people on the potential of their properties and what planning permission they would need, it was obvious to me that people wanted a quick and reliable way to make planning regulations easy to understand and that Open Data would allow that.”
Kable applied for access to maps from Brisbane City Council via Digital Brisbane and was awarded a grant from Brisbane Marketing to develop RightToGo.
“Open Data enables ideas to be generated by businesses that government organisations may not even be aware of,” says Kable. “In the case of RightToGo, we are filling a need to understand the planning requirements and rules for an individual property. The innovation is that the information is available immediately online and at no cost to the homeowner.
“In our experience, once people see the art of the possible – in what they can and can’t do on their property — it’s important that they have access to design-led professionals with creative ideas and skills to maximise their property’s potential. Each property is unique and needs its own special design response. Now the app is ready, we are seeking to partner with such businesses throughout the Brisbane City Council area to link them to interested homeowners and developers.”
Cities such as Brisbane are now recognised as the new engines of economic development and need to offer a positive environment and lifestyle to attract talented individuals to work there. Says Kable: “RightToGo supports these objectives by selecting those businesses with the talent to create great places and spaces in which to live and work.
“The support RightToGo received from Digital Brisbane, Brisbane’s City Planning Committee, and the Open Data Institute of Queensland, accelerated the creation of Digital City Plans that make RightToGo possible. Fountainhead Group received keen interest in London recently when we were invited to present Digital City Plans at Future Cities Catapult, as part of the Future of Planning project. For us, the most important part of Digital City Plans is being able to put people in contact with businesses that will support and create high quality built outcomes. We enable people to get their projects started with the right people to achieve creative, design-led solutions.”
While initially covering the Brisbane City Council area, RightToGo will soon be expanding to cover South-East Queensland, then the whole of the state and beyond.
“Given South-East Queensland’s climate and lifestyle it’s important people are able to work with local businesses that can make the most of the local conditions,” says Kable. “Our unique climate and lifestyle gives wonderful opportunities to create beautiful places to live. We have a great outdoor environment and it’s wonderful to be able to bring that into people’s homes.
“Brisbane holds great real estate value and RightToGo aims to help people build on the value of their existing home with innovative design solutions for extensions as well as new build construction.”